European Space Solutions: A Different Kind of Galileo Public-Private Initiative
October 31, 2012
A combined conference and trade fair, European Space Solutions — scheduled for December 3–5 in Central Hall, Westminster Storey’s Gate, London, England — will bring businesses and the public sectors together with users and developers to explore how space technologies and applications, including satellite navigation, can make a difference in the lives and livelihoods of people across Europe.
Reflecting the high-level support for the event, Antonio Tajani, vice-president of the European Commission (EC) responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, will be among the keynote speakers at the December 3 plenary session. David Willetts, the British Minister for Universities and Science, and Ed Parsons, a geospatial technologist for Google, will also address the plenary.
Branson’s Virgin Galactic group is currently building commercial suborbital spacecraft that are expected to offer private space flights from the end of 2013, potentially spurring a new global interest in space travel. Shortly afterwards, from 2014, initial services from Europe’s Galileo GNSS systes will become operational, enabling a wide array of faster, more accurate and more reliable satellite services.
Both Branson and Tajani will focus on the framework for ensuring growth in the space sector.
An EC initiative, hosted by UK Space Agency, European Space Solutions will offer 11 half-day seminars on Europe's satellite navigation and Earth observation programs and their potential to drive growth in downstream markets. Panel participants will look at particular sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, land, air and maritime transportation, financial services, and others. The applications-oriented seminars will be user-led, focusing on the business sectors rather than the space segment.
Industry speakers will explore how the European Union’s flagship space programs, Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), can be harnessed to fuel economic growth.
Developers and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can take part in a “Business Support and Development Fair” where they will learn about financing, legal issues, EU funding, business incubation opportunities, and intellectual property rights (IPR). The fair will also offer technical expertise related to Galileo, Europe’s satellite-based augmentation system (EGNOS) and GMES.
Parallel events during the conference, which is organized by the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the GMES Master and European Satellite Navigation Competition, will include a workshop on the future Galileo public regulated service (PRS), an encrypted service available only to authorized public safety- and security-oriented organizations. Other parallel activities include sessions on “Space-Derived Data — Legal and Diplomatic Applications” (hosted by the London Institute of Space Policy and Law), and “The State of Transatlantic Space and Opportunities for US-UK Collaboration,” a half-day interactive seminar hosted by UK Trade & Investment.
The PRS workshop, organized by the GSA, will provide insight into the status of PRS development, EC and GSA activities regarding the PRS user segment, PRS pilot projects, and progress of individual EU member states in authorizing and developing plans for regulating PRS use in their countries. The workshop is limited to citizens of EU member states, Switzerland and Norway.
European Space Expo
The Expo will also host a special event, “Space Solutions for Assisted Living” on December 3, with EC Vice-President Tajani and other key figures from related government and NGOs. The Expo will display devices and mobility equipment based on satellite navigation technology that makes lives of the elderly and persons with disabilities easier in mobility, transportation, activities of daily living, education, employment and other related areas.
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