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Galileo, Europe’s GPS, opens up business opportunities and makes life easier for citizens

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Today a public demonstration of how the four satellites of the EU’s satellite navigation system Galileo can independently and highly accurately determine a position on the Earth’s surface took place in the Galileo Control Centre in Fucino, Italy. <br/><br/>

This position fix of longitude, latitude and altitude is a concrete proof of Galileo's ability to provide highly accurate positioning data. The availability of this data is crucial to providers who will create the derived services we ultimately expect from Galileo. As the benefits of Galileo become tangible the next step is for industry providers to start preparing for future market opportunities.

Galileo underpins Europe’s economy

Europe needs Galileo to strengthen its economic development and reinforce the resilience of the European economic structure, especially against the current context of the European economic crisis.

Today, positioning and timing signals provided by satellite navigation systems are used in many critical areas of the economy, including power grid synchronization, electronic trading and mobile phone networks, effective road, sea and air traffic management, in-car navigation, search and rescue service to mention but a few examples.

According to market studies, it is estimated that already 6-7% of Europe's GDP in 2009, or €800 billion, relies on satellite navigation signals provided currently by the US GPS and this dependency is increasing. With Galileo, Europe
is will be able to exploit the opportunities provided by satellite navigation to
a much greater extent than otherwise possible.

Galileo in short: accuracy, innovative services, availability, precision

Better accuracy: Galileo offers three Open Service signals, each of them
providing more information and in larger bands than the unique narrow-band
current GPS civil signal. These improvements allow better accuracy and better
signal tracking for end users, so better navigation.

Boost the growth of innovative services: The diversity of the Galileo open signals will permit even more innovation in navigation receivers and applications, from cell-phones to very high accuracy navigation and time receivers, from standalone to assisted and hybridised navigation, from fixed to real-time high-speed usage. Galileo will boost the growth of satellite navigation services.

Availabiliy of signals: In a combined GPS-Galileo use, as compared to GPS alone, the higher number of satellites available to the user will improve the availability of signals in high-rise cities as well as in mountain regions where buildings/hills can obstruct signals from satellites that are low on the horizon.

High precision: Galileo offers also a Commercial Service signal that will allow global high-end and innovative applications based on few centimetres accuracy and signal.

€124 bn market value to increase to €244 bn by 2020

The global annual market for global navigation satellite products and services is currently valued at 124 billion Euros and is expected to grow over the next decade, leading to an estimated market size of €244 billion in 2020.

Like the Internet, a global navigation satellite system is a service enabler rather than a standalone service. It acts as a catalyst for economic activities, leading to the creation of added value and jobs in a wide range of connected sectors (upstream and downstream markets) and at macroeconomic level through socio-economic benefits for society as a whole.

The expected benefits of Galileo and EGNOS can be divided into three main components:

Thanks to global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), new business opportunities are developing. Innovative uses of satellite navigation
are emerging, such as advanced driver assistance systems, assistance for the
elderly and the blind, transport vehicle fleet management and road user charging systems. Most of these applications will only become possible with the increased precision of Galileo. The cumulative direct benefits emanating from the GNSS downstream market are estimated to amount to €14 billion over the next 20 years.

Thanks to new applications made possible by Galileo, businesses will benefit from more efficient production processes. For example, agriculture will gain increased crop productivity through more accurate seeding and spraying of fertilizers which in turn helps protect the environment and can lead to increased food production.

All sectors of the economy will gain from increased speed of delivery of
goods to customers, with reduced impact on the environment as well as greater safety for road users.

Investment in the development of Galileo supports hundreds of European companies ranging from multi-billion-euro conglomerates to specialised SMEs. Most of the funds spent on the Galileo and EGNOS programmes flow directly into the European economy.

In addition, the  technological advances that come about as a result of research & development investment in the space industry are transferred to firms in other sectors in the form of ‘spill-over’ effects. Research by Oxford
suggests that such spill-over effects are very large, with R&D investment by the aerospace sector generating a social return of around 70% - i.e. every €100 million invested in R&D leads to an increase in GDP of €70 million in the longer term in other sectors (e.g. health and medicine, transport, computer science).

The overall economic impact is estimated to be around 90 billion euro over the next 20 years (source: GSA studies Market Monitoring and Forecasting).

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