Experts consider impact of Europe’s GNSS programmes

This page has been archived and is provided for historical reference purposes only.
The content and links are no longer maintained and may now be outdated.

07 December 2011

The Secure World Foundation (SWF) hosted leading authorities in a discussion on Galileo, emphasising prospects for international co-operation, business opportunities and identifying key benefits for European citizens.

Talking Galileo at the SWF Round Table ©Peter Gutierrez

Talking Galileo at the SWF Round Table ©Peter Gutierrez

Speaking at the recent SWF Space Policy Round Table in Brussels, Michel Bosco, European Commission Deputy Head of Unit for EU Satellite Navigation Programs, said "Galileo is solely funded with EU public money and this is the first time the EU actually owns its own space assets."

Bosco reminded participants of the launch of the first two Galileo satellites in October of this year, viewed as a major step towards an operational system, with the next launch to come in the summer of 2012. Importantly, he said, there will be seven billion euros allocated to Galileo in the next multiannual financial framework programme, indicating the determination of the EU to see the programme through.

"International co-operation is crucial for the development of GNSS," Bosco added, "particularly when it comes to interoperability, compatibility and the worldwide network of ground stations."

Making Galileo go

Daniel Ludwig, an independent consultant with many years of experience in EU matters, highlighted the economic benefits of Galileo. "We will find new uses for this technology that are still not fully imagined and are therefore underestimated.

"Galileo has the potential to be a prototype for the future European space policy," he observed. "Governance of the system should be revisited. Strong leadership and management are essential to make such a big programme successful, and there are many actors involved, a situation that makes coordination and efficiency difficult."

Gard Ueland, President of Galileo Services, a non-profit organisation for Galileo downstream technology and business development, said, "Galileo was not just created to give Europe independence in navigation but also to ensure that Europe would have a share of the large and growing GNSS market." That market is now expected to grow to 240 billion euros by 2021. "However," Ueland added, "European GNSS research is in trouble, as there is very little support at the national level."

Benefits for all

Marina Martinez of the Spanish Office of Science and Technology stressed the importance of making Galileo work for European citizens: "Galileo is not just a programme but also a commodity," she said, "creating jobs and business for companies of different sizes, as well as spin-offs into other sectors and areas."

The Space Policy Round Table event was part of a series of panel discussions hosted by the SWF in Brussels, focusing on significant global space issues, with a particular emphasis on Europe.

More information:

Updated: Dec 07, 2011