NAVISP Industry Days 2023 – Wrap up

The 2023 edition of the NAVISP Industry Days was a resounding success. This year, we had over 200 participants and key speakers from 17 countries covering various market segments such as agriculture, automotive, rail, geomatics, IOT and many more, highlighting the event's effectiveness in reaching a broader audience and enlarging the footprint of the programme beyond the space industry.

Key Figures

The NAVISP Industry Days 2023 brought together over 200 participants from 17 countries and 13 different market sectors. Notably, nearly half of the    attendees were newcomers to NAVISP, showcasing the event's effectiveness in reaching a broader audience. Participation was a well-balanced mix,    with 45% from large companies, 25% from SMEs, 20% from research institutions, and 10% from public authorities and governments. In addition, the      event also featured a dynamic exhibition giving 11 participating companies the opportunity to showcase their PNT-related products and services to the  attendees. The extensive program included 25 panellists and keynote speakers, contributing to four thematic sessions covering PNT for mobility,          Alternative PNT, and PNT Trends. In addition to insightful discussions, the event facilitated networking opportunities through several breaks, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange among participants.

NAVISP Next: Ambitious Aspirations for European PNT Industry

The NAVISP Industry Days 2023 started with the announcement of plans for NAVISP Next, the Phase 4 of NAVISP, to be proposed at the next ESA's Ministerial Conference in 2025. NAVISP aspires to bolster the competitiveness of the European PNT industry, aiming to surpass its current 17% global market share and achieve a target range of 20-30%.

NAVISP Next outlines strategies to enhance its influence across the entire value chain by promoting Private Public Partnership approaches with leading market entities. This approach aims to diversify funding sources, enabling the leveraging of funds from non-space sectors. Overcoming challenges encompasses the cultivation of synergies across NAVISP Elements and the active engagement of a diverse range of stakeholders.

The collaborative nature of NAVISP was highlighted, emphasizing that it is not just a programme defined by ESA, but a collective effort involving industry and institutional needs. NAVISP positions itself as an intermediary that is attuned to the needs of the industry, has an adaptable structure and is committed to creating synergies to cultivate and promote PNT champions.

Insights from Key Briefings and Panel Discussions

Ennio Guarino, Head of the Galileo and EGNOS programme at ESA opened the event and emphasized NAVISP's pivotal role as a bridge between Galileo and users, setting the tone for the event. Alberto Tuozzi from ASI, the Italian Space Agency, further underscored Italy's dedication to NAVISP and its aspirations for advancing the GNSS and broader PNT sector during his keynote.

Markus Uster, Head of Product Center Positioning at U-blox, shared growth perspectives for commercial PNT products, focusing on wearables, ground robotics, high-accuracy services, and autonomous driving. His insights highlighted the evolving challenges in GNSS from traditional concerns to the current emphasis on integrity and safety.

Additionally, Kristian Svartveit from the Norwegian Space Agency highlighted Jammertest, one of the largest GNSS jamming and spoofing events globally. He extended an invitation to NAVISP projects to test their outputs in Jammertest 2024, following intriguing results presented by Paolo Crosta from the ESA Radionavigation lab.

The first thematic session delved into PNT for Mobility. John Tintinally, from SAE International, the Society of Automotive Engineering, opened the session with a keynote asserting that cooperative autonomous driving, which prioritizes safety, is essential for addressing traffic congestion. He envisioned a future where cars are managed in a controlled ground space, utilizing Artificial Intelligence for mapping, and introduced a new standard the society is currently working on, SAE1026, addressing GNSS vulnerabilities and providing guidance on constructing a low-cost anti-jamming solution with two antennas. Vlad Vinatu from Continental, one of the leading tier-1 automotive suppliers, addressed highlighted the pressing challenges in the automotive sector such as digitalization, sustainability, technological shifts, and speed crucial for competitiveness. Emphasizing alignment with NAVISP's principles, Mr. Vinatu urged collaboration on securing the European microelectronics value chain among participants. The panel discussion featured representatives from various sectors: Cosimo Cervicato from Grimaldi Group in the maritime sector, Rasmus Rettig from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences focusing on Urban Mobility, Jerome Brouwer from TomTom in digital mapping, and Rodrigo Castineira from INDRA in Rail. Responses to how PNT can shape future mobility varied, emphasizing safer PNT for automotive safety, more accurate PNT for expedited map production linked to in-vehicle sensors, and improved maritime and rail operations through efficient PNT utilization. The panel emphasized the significance of pilot projects in shaping standards and interoperability. Regarding how NAVISP can contribute, panellists unanimously recognized the program's potential for implementing innovation, complementing other initiatives, and fostering extensive networking opportunities.

Alternate PNT took centre stage in the afternoon, featuring Frederik Gunnarsson from Ericsson discussing 5G networks' role in PNT. Mr. Gunnarsson highlighted the sophistication of cellular networks, their evolving standards, and the potential of 5G signals for Alternate PNT. He emphasizes their suitability for various applications, including network positioning for emergency calls and validating GNSS positions for authentication or integrity purposes when GNSS is unavailable.

Dr Mark Brammer, representing the UK Position, Navigation, and Timing Office, outlined the comprehensive roadmap from the Department of Science and Technology, aiming to ensure resilient PNT access for UK stakeholders. The roadmap is built to avoid a worst-case scenario in which the UK economy suffers a crucial 70% of GNSS-related economic losses resulting from GNSS loss. The plan consists of two epochs: the first involving a national facility for timing distribution via terrestrial optical fibre and eLoran, and the second, a longer-term plan integrating lower TRL (Technology Readiness Level) A-PNT solutions like regional satellite constellations, quantum timing, and signals of opportunity.

The session then featured a panel discussion with representatives from various sectors, including Michael Hoppe from the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, Sven-Inge Rasmussen from Space Norway, Florin Mistrapau from GMV Romania, and Lukasz Bonenberg from the European Commission – Joint Research Center. Michael Hoppe discussed the R-mode Baltic Test-Bed's five-year operation, aiding service development with maritime broadcast beacons and upgraded VDES stations. Sven-Inge Rassmussen highlighted NAVISP's ICING project, a R-mode-supporting LEO satellite potentially synergizing with the Baltic Testbed. Mr. Mistrapau detailed plans for a resilient PNT demonstrator in the lower Danube and Black Sea, emphasizing R-mode solutions for maritime. Dr Bonenberg shared JRC's A-PNT technology testing, supporting the need for a non-GNSS-dependent time reference and endorsing a facility as a resilient PNT backbone. Discussion converged on NAVISP's pivotal role in advancing Alternate PNT solutions. The consensus pointed towards supporting the implementation and operation of testbeds as a viable approach, fostering the development and testing of A-PNT solutions and 5G positioning.

The third and final session highlighted current PNT trends, starting with Roger McKinley, Challenge Director from innovate UK, exploring "Managing the Dichotomy: Improving GNSS and Reducing Dependency." Mr McKinley emphasized the potential of quantum technology for PNT. Daniele Borio from the European Commission followed with a keynote on GNSS Receiver Algorithm Trends, addressing current and future challenges. Guiseppe Tomasicchio from Telespazio then focused on underwater PNT, discussing its applications for climate change research and structural monitoring. The second day concluded with a panel on "PNT Trends for European and Canadian Industry in the Next 3-5 Years," featuring an esteemed lineup of panellists including Bruno Bougard from Septentrio, Marco Palumbo from Infleqtion UK, Markus Uster from U-Blox, and Pietro Giordano from the European Space Agency (ESA). The comprehensive discourse explored quantum technology prospects, the escalating significance of artificial intelligence (AI) and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and the ongoing development of novel constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO). Insights from these diverse perspectives provided a nuanced understanding of the evolving landscape of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) technologies, offering strategic considerations for industry stakeholders in the European and Canadian sectors over the next 3-5 years.

The event additionally featured an engaging exhibition where 11 companies including Albora Technologies LTD, CSEM, DiMOS Operations GmbH, DriverNet, German Aerospace Center (DLR), GMV, Centre of Excellence EGNSS, RadioLabs, Sagax Communications, Spirent Positioning, Navigation, and Timing as well as QASCOM showcased their diverse array of products and services. Attendees had the opportunity to explore firsthand the innovative offerings presented by these companies, providing a tangible glimpse into the advancements and solutions shaping the positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) landscape. The exhibition served as a dynamic platform for networking, fostering connections, and witnessing the practical applications of pioneering technologies within the industry.

The NAVISP Industry Days proved to be a dynamic and insightful event, bringing together professionals and experts from various sectors to discuss and explore innovations in the PNT domain. The engaging presentations, panel discussions, and networking opportunities offered a comprehensive view of the advancements and challenges in the field.

We extend our sincere gratitude to all the participants for their active involvement and valuable contributions. At the event, we kindly requested participants to take a moment to complete the survey designed to analyse their engagement and provide feedback on the overall event experience. Your input is crucial for us to enhance future events and tailor them to your needs. We appreciate your time and thoughtful responses. Furthermore, we would like to announce that the winner of the prize draw will be notified by Wednesday. We eagerly anticipate unveiling the lucky recipient who will enjoy their well-deserved prize. Once again, thank you for making the NAVISP Industry Days a resounding success!

All presentations of the event can be found here.

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