This is the final round of funding for satellite navigation research by the EU’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). The previous two calls for proposals led to the funding of 55 projects with a total EU contribution of €47m.
The focus for this round of funding will be on mature and commercially viable research that can have immediate market impact. The EU is open to innovative ideas especially welcomes proposals from small companies and newcomers to the Framework Programmes.
New elements: Increased simplicity and security
This round builds on a successful legacy, yet introduces some innovations. One new element is a two-stage process for SMEs. A budget of €10m 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. For the first stage, (deadline: 5 October) candidates are asked to simply provide a short “concept proposal”. Successful candidates will be invited to participate in the second stage and complete a full proposal by 13 January 2011. Proposals for the other topics have one deadline: 16 December, when a full proposal is requested.
Another innovation is that proposals containing classified information can be accepted for topics related to security sensitive areas (such as the Galileo Public Regulated Service or ‘PRS’). For this, classified information should be submitted in a separate annex, while non-classified information can be submitted via the Electronic Proposal Submission Service (EPSS) on CORDIS.
While the funding levels for collaborative projects are slightly lower than in previous calls (e.g., for RTD: 60% instead of 75% for SMEs and research institutions and 40% instead of 50% for non SMEs), this will enable more projects to be funded. In addition, it emphasises more than ever the need for a genuine commercial intent for any proposals relating to application development. For non-research projects the 'Coordination and Support Actions' funding mechanism will cover 100% of the project budget.
The importance of supporting satellite navigation application developers is also highlighted. All foreground intellectual property rights (IPR) developed by collaborative projects are owned by the project partners and consortia are fully encouraged to exploit any commercial opportunities. However, as R&D projects often address similar issues, the EU encourages and aims to facilitate information sharing whenever possible. 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 proposal evaluation.
Supporting both Galileo and EGNOS
The third call covers applications using both EGNOS and Galileo. The EGNOS Open Signal (egnos-portal.eu), available to anyone with an EGNOS-enabled receiver in Europe, became operational in October 2009. The Safety-of-life Service is expected to be certified for use by the aviation sector in November, which will open the door to new market opportunities. Progress is also being made in developing Galileo. 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 new projects launched in this call will run roughly from mid-2011 until mid-2013 and should be able to conduct trials with the 4 Galileo IOV satellites that will be launched over the next two years.
What is covered and how much is available?
Detailed information and call documentation can be found on CORDIS, the EU’s R&D portal. The table below gives you an overview of the 3 open calls:
Content: 4 application topics + networks of universities and user fora + international activities
Content: Satnav applications targeting SMEs
Deadline: Stage 1: 05/10/2010 - Stage 2: 13/01/2010
Content: GNSS receiver technologies
For each topic, there are two key documents. These include the guide for applicants (one for each call and each funding instrument) and the detailed topic description (one for each topic).
Information Day planned
Growing Galileo 2010, set to take place on September 22 in Brussels, is an opportunity to discover first-hand more about these funding opportunities. The event 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.
Boris Kennes, R&D and Market Monitoring Officer
European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA)
T: +32 2 295 31 32 / Mobile: +32 498 98 43 56 / E: boris.kennes[.]gsa.europa.eu.
About the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA)
The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (gsa.europa.eu) is an agency of the European Union. Among other things, the GSA supports the European Commission in promoting the market exploitation of EGNOS, keeping Europe at the forefront of the satellite navigation sector.