Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ESA -Technology Transfer Programme and LBSs

BARCELONA -Framed by the spendid view from the 20th floor of the Mapfre Tower, Bruno Naulais, European Space Incubators Network Manager at ESA, explained some of the current initiatives of the ESA with potential for tech start-ups.

The new Galileo satellite will offer better resolution than GPS, precise timing via an atomic clock and a guaranteed signal (a boon indeed for LBS companies given occasional unreliability of GPS signals on mobile devices).

Bruno also covered other alternatives to GPS.Consisting of three geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations, EGNOS achieves its aim by transmitting a signal containing information on the reliability and accuracy of the positioning signals sent out by the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS). It allows users in Europe and beyond to determine their position to within 2 metres, compared with about 20 metres for GPS and GLONASS alone.

In addition, new boosters are being developed as part of the ESA Technology Transfer Programme that will allow indoor usage of GPS, thus providing realtime navigation guidance at large scale indoor events (trade fairs).

A new centre for Innovation in Geospatial and Location Based Services is also being set up by ESA together with Oracle and TeleAtlas.

The ESA VC Fund Initiative is providing finance of up to €1.3m for innovative start-ups and they are seeing the key dealflow in the area of Location based products and services.

More info can be found at