The GSA awarded its Special Topic Prize to Austrian start-up Mobilizy for their ‘Wikitude Drive’ mobile augmented reality navigation system at the European Satellite Navigation Competition's annual award ceremony. The application also took the overall ‘Galileo Masters’ prize of €20,000 at the event held in the prestigious Residenz in Munich, Germany, on 18 October.
The seventh edition of the annual competition saw prizes awarded for the best applications using satellite navigation in each of the 23 participating regions, as well as for a series of 'Special Topic' categories. With new regions participating for the first time including Lithuania, Aquitaine, the United States, Brazil and the Arab Middle East and North Africa, this year’s competition attracted a record number of 357 submissions.
The GSA awards its Special Topic Prize for the most promising application using the capabilities of EGNOS.
The Wikitude Drive system uses smart phone technologies to provide driving instructions overlayed on real-time video footage. "By integrating EGNOS, this application will really take off with improved accuracy, faster positioning signals, and more accurate altitude detection,” said Heike Wieland, Acting Executive Director of the GSA, who presented the prize to Mobilizy.
“I am curious to see how augmented reality will revolutionise the market for pedestrian and in-car navigation,” added Wieland.
Philipp Breuss-Schneeweis from Mobilizy said: “It’s really great to win the prizes and we’re looking forward to making the most of it.”
Wieland underlined the high quality of applicants for this year’s competition, which was launched at the Galileo Applications Day event in Brussels in March: “We were impressed with the proposals and this gives us confidence that there is a bright future for EGNOS and Galileo applications.”
As GSA Special Topic Prize winners, the Mobilizy team will now have the opportunity to realise their idea at a suitable incubation centre of their own choice within the EU27 for six months, with the option of an additional six months based on evaluation after the first period.
“We hope that the support will enable us to move forward with the future market development of Wikitude drive,” added Breuss-Schneeweis.
The GSA Special Topic Award is given on the basis of a number of criteria:
- Uniqueness and originality of the idea;
- Business potential (technical feasibility, commercial feasibility, size of market and time to market, credibility of the applicant);
- Contribution to success of EGNOS/Galileo programme in terms of exploiting EGNOS/Galileo unique features, promoting EGNOS/Galileo awareness and bringing EGNOS to new markets.
The sponsorship of a Special Topic Award at the annual European Satellite Navigation Competition is part of the GSA’s overall programme to foster new applications for EGNOS, and, later on, Galileo. The applications must provide economic and social benefit to Europeans and to European industry.
This year the award ceremony was part of a larger two-day 'European Satellite Navigation Conference'. The keynote session on the opening day of the event looked at transport applications for GNSS, with experts from industry, research and European organisations discussing topics such as intelligent cargo, cooperative systems for vehicle ICT services and driver assistance systems.
There was also a workshop focusing on GNSS activities in the Baltic states, with representatives from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia giving overviews of developments in their countries. Other speakers presented specific applications being developed in the region, including location-based gaming, GPS tracker systems for kidnapping prevention and super precise vegetation mapping applications.
The GSA presented the third call for proposals on GNSS under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) which is currently underway. Participants were also able to hear for themselves past examples of successful applications development in a series of incubation best practices from across Europe.
The second day also featured presentations of regional winners under the Galileo Masters competition which outlined the applications being developed.
Market development for EGNOS and Galileo
The GSA currently works with the European Commission on a range of market development activities aimed at helping European entrepreneurs and businesses – especially high tech small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), business incubators and related networks – commercially exploit EGNOS and Galileo.
Such promotional activities will ensure that European industry maintains a competitive edge in the global satellite navigation marketplace.
The European Satellite Navigation Competition is an international competition that awards the best ideas for innovative applications in satellite navigation. It has been held annually since 2004 under the patronage of the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport, and Technology.
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