With the aim of supporting regions and businesses, in particular SMEs, in the commercialisation of GNSS-based applications, the European Commission in partnership with the ESNC, has established the new Galileo-EGNOS Prize Award Scheme (GEPAS).
Galileo-EGNOS Prize Award Scheme (GEPAS)
The main objective of the Galileo-EGNOS Prize Award Scheme “GEPAS” is to support more regions and businesses in the development of GNSS applications. This includes extending the overall prize pool that is offered to individual winners by participating regions and sponsors of the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC). Through GEPAS, the European Commission supports European partner regions and sponsors of the ESNC in awarding prizes to their winners. GEPAS thus fosters the extension of the overall prize pool aiming to increase in the number and quality of ideas submitted as well as boosting the rate of successfully realised business ideas in terms of new products, services, or ventures pushing the commercialisation of GNSS applications in Europe. SMEs, in particular, will benefit from this initiative. GEPAS funds up to 50% of the value of prizes offered to the winners up to 10,000 EUR per year. Eligible costs include support activities provided by the partners to the winner such as incubation programmes, technical consulting, business coaching, patent consulting, marketing services, prize money, prototype development, use of testing facilities, etc. By lowering the costs of entry thanks to Commission funding, new European partner regions will gain extensive visibility in the GNSS industry and the global network for their regional activities.
The prize award scheme fits neatly into the existing competition infrastructure of the ESNC. The EU-funded project started on 15 October 2011 with 9 co-beneficiaries. The current consortium consists of the ESNC regional partners from Catalonia/Spain, Gipuzkoa/Spain, Lithuania, Lombardy/Italy, Czech Republic, Øresund/Denmark & Sweden, South Holland/Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and is coordinated by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO).
Participation in GEPAS is open to all EU Member States among the ESNC partner regions and sponsors for the remaining two years 2012/2013.
ESNC fosters innovation in satellite navigation applications on a global scale. Since 2004, Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen has established a vast network boosting entrepreneurship in the emerging Satnav applications market. With its own EGNSS technology (GALILEO global & EGNOS regional) EU enterprises and citizens can exploit the opportunities provided by satellite navigation to a greater extent than currently possible. The European Union is engaged in promoting the development of downstream applications based on EGNSS technology to maximize the spill-over benefits from building the EGNSS infrastructure. With GEPAS the European Commission supports the extension of the ESNC’s overall prize pool, aiming to 1) increase the number and quality of ideas submitted and 2) boost the rate of successfully realised business ideas in terms of new products and services and bringing them to market. The common goal of the ESNC and the European Commission is to push the commercialisation of GNSS applications and create new businesses and jobs.