Feeds

Galileo seeks clever uses of sat nav

Prizes worth €50k up for grabs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Now that Europe is pressing ahead with its Galileo satellite navigation system, it seems that is a bit stuck for ideas for what to do with it. Enter the Galileo Masters 2005 competition, with a prize of €50,000 of business development support for the European team that comes up with the best idea for an innovative use of the network.

The competition is open to small businesses or entrepreneurs across Europe, and entries will be evaluated regionally before progressing to a final showdown of the best ideas. The competition organisers are focussing on seven regions within Europe: London, Gothenburg, Nice-Sophia Antipolis, the Czech Republic, Varese, South Holland and Munich.

All the regional winners will be invited to the International Systems IT and Telecommunication Fair in Munich in October, where they will be given free stands. Last year the Sat-Nav section of the fair had more than 65,000 visitors. The overall winner will be provided with six months in an office in their region's "business incubator" along with consultancy and promotional support, a package worth around €50,000.

Galileo will provide an EU-controlled alternative to the US GPS satellite navigation system, designed for civilian use, and will offer more detailed resolution than its US counterpart. The project will cost an estimated €3.7bn, of which €2.1bn will be spent on deployment.

Two thirds of this investment will come from industry. The final exploitation costs are likely to run to €220m per year. The public sector will make an exceptional contribution of €500m, the European Commission said, but from then on, the costs will be covered entirely by the private sector.

Naturally, with all this cash being pumped into the network, the relevant bigwigs are keen to make sure they will have an early return on the investment. And this is where the contest comes in. Competition organisers reckon that by 2015 over 400 million satellite navigation users will have created more than 100,000 new jobs within the European aerospace and electronics industry. So the sooner people start coming up with applications, the better.

Bruno Naulais, manager of ESA's European Space Incubator, said: "[The contest] is important for Europe's space industry as it creates novel utilisations for our navigation systems and in the end will generate income for their technology."

Last year's winner suggested using the satellites to track fish stocks. The company, HCL Technologies, developed a device that would help fishermen in developing nations decide where they should cast their nets.

The 2005 competition closes on 30 June, so if this sounds like your sort of thing, get over to the Galileo Masters website here (flash warning). ®

Related stories

Galileo concession still up for grabs
Galileo launches will go ahead
USAF plans space wars, world's space hardware gets nervous

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.