More research funding available for GNSS technologies

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20 September 2010

On 20 July 2010 the EU launched a series of calls for proposals for a total of €30.5 million covering eight topics in the area of satellite navigation. A further €6.5 million will be used for several calls for a tender that will be published early 2011.

Acting under powers delegated by the European Commission, the GSA will be responsible for managing about 75% of the total available budget. The remaining budget will be managed directly by the European Commission's directorate of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

This is the last call launched for satellite navigation research by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme on research and technological development (FP7). The previous two calls for proposals led to the funding of 55 projects with a total EU contribution of €47 million.

As was the case for the previous two calls, the emphasis will be on mature and commercially viable research – with an immediate impact on the market. The EU is open to innovative ideas from the market and especially welcomes proposals from small companies and newcomers to Framework programmes.

What's new?

The new call builds on a successful legacy but introduces some innovations. One of the main innovations in this call is the two stage process for SMEs. A budget of €10 million has been dedicated to the topic ‘Use of Galileo and EGNOS services for mass market and in niche sectors’, which is targeted at SMEs and research institutions.

At the first stage which ends on 5 October, coordinators are only asked to submit a brief “concept proposal” of less than 10 pages. Successful consortia will then be invited to participate in the second stage and to complete a full proposal by 13 January 2011. By comparison, proposals for any of the other topics in the call have only one deadline – 16 December, when they have to submit a full proposal.

Another innovation is that proposals containing classified information can be accepted for call topics related to security sensitive areas such as PRS. The classified information should be in a separate annex and should not be uploaded via the Electronic Proposal Submission Service (EPSS) on CORDIS with the non-classified part of the proposal. Instead, the classified parts should be sent directly to the GSA security officer according to the relevant rules. This process is further described in the guide for applicants.

The funding levels in this call for collaborative projects are slightly lower than in the previous two calls (e.g., for RTD: 60% instead of 75% for SMEs and research institutions and 40% instead of 50% for non SMEs). This reduction will enable more projects to be funded with the limited budget available. In addition, it emphasises even more the need for a genuine commercial intent for any proposals relating to application development. For non-RTD projects the Coordination and Support Actions funding mechanism will cover100% of the project budget.

The EU complements the FP7 call with other instruments to support application and receiver developers. These include access to information, past research results, market data via the EGNOS Portal (, the virtual library and GNSS market reports. In the future, this information will be augmented with practical software tools for GNSS application developers. In early 2011, the EU will also launch a GNSS voucher programme to provide application developers with focused expert technical and business advice.

In this call the EU also wants to emphasis the importance of supporting the community of GNSS developers. As is the case with other FP7 programmes, all foreground intellectual property rights (IPR) developed by collaborative projects are owned by the consortium and consortia are encouraged to fully exploit any commercial opportunities.

However, other R&D projects may address similar issues and could gain by sharing such information. The EU aims to facilitate sharing and to act as a broker in some cases. Consortia are also encouraged to develop free, open source tools that can be used by other application developers. This factor will be taken into account in the evaluation.

Galileo and EGNOS

This series of calls covers both applications using EGNOS and applications targeting Galileo. EGNOS has been functioning for several years. This year EGNOS will be certified for safety-of-life applications, which will enable new market opportunities. Progress is also being made in developing Galileo.

The first release of the Galileo OS ICD was issued earlier this year and is available for commercial and research use. Leading chipset and receiver manufacturers are already releasing Galileo ready products. In addition Galileo is available through market leading simulators.

Several live outdoor testing facilities are operational, with more under development. The GSA and the Commission aim to facilitate access to such testing and simulation facilities. The new projects launched in this call will run roughly from mid-2011 until mid-2013 and should be able to conduct trials with the four Galileo IOV satellites that will be launched in the next two years.

More information

Detailed information and the full call documentation can be found on CORDIS, the EU’s FP portal. The table below gives you an overview of the three open calls:

Call identifier


Number of topics


Funding Scheme

Link to CORDIS


Deadline for submitting proposals






Click here.

4 application topics + networks of universities and user fora + international activities







Click here.

Satnav applications targeting SMEs

Stage 1: 05/10/2010

Stage 2: 13/01/2010






Click here.

GNSS receiver technologies


For each topic, there are two essential documents. These include the guide for applicants (there is one for each call and each funding instrument) and the detailed topic description (one for each topic). Make sure you read both of these documents thoroughly, especially the topic descriptions, which are essential reading. The detailed topic description can be found in the “additional documents” section on the call page on CORDIS.

The Growing Galileo Information Day 2010 on September 22 is an opportunity to discover first-hand more about these funding opportunities. The event in Brussels will provide more details on the specific open calls for proposals and is an opportunity to meet, network and form partnerships with other organisations, as well as learn about projects funded under previous calls.  For more information click here. Several FP7 National Contact Points are also organising information events.

Register for Growing Galileo 2010.

Looking for partners? You can use the CORDIS online tool to find them. On the GSA’s website you will also find a synopsis of previous FP6 and FP7 projects that includes the organisations that contributed to each project. Consult a catalogue of SMEs.
Consult the EGNOS Portal for information on EGNOS.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you do republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (

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FP7 Quickstart Guide

Updated: Sep 08, 2014