The European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the European Commission concluded an agreement delegating a range of exploitation tasks for Galileo to the GSA. Serving as an initial step towards the full Galileo Exploitation Phase, the Agreement provides a framework and budget for the development of services and operations through 2021.
Specifically, according to the Agreement, the GSA’s responsibilities include:
- Provision and marketing of the services.
- Management, maintenance, continuous improvement, evolution and protection of the space and ground infrastructure.
- Research and development of receiver platforms with innovative features in different application domains.
- Development of future generations of the system.
- Cooperation with other GNSS.
- All other required activities to ensure the development and smooth running of the system.
- The European Commission remains responsible for the overall programme supervision, while the European Space Agency (ESA) is entrusted with the deployment phase.
The Agreement was signed between Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General of the Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General at the European Commission, and Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the GSA. The Agreement specifically sets the actions to be implemented, the amount of funding provided, and the conditions for the overall management.
“With Galileo, we aim to provide a tangible service to European citizens, and this agreement ensures we have the tools and funding necessary to achieve this,” says des Dorides.
The services expected to be developed from this agreement will provide considerable economic opportunities in a wide range of domains, including transport, telecommunication, energy and banking. For example, in 2013 the annual global market for global navigation satellite products and services was valued at €175 billion, and this is expected to grow over the next years to an estimated €237 billion in 2020.
The Galileo exploitation phase will be progressively rolled out starting in 2014 – 2015, with full operability scheduled for 2020. The implementation period of the Agreement runs until 2021, with a comprehensive review of its functioning by the end of 2016. The maximum current EU contribution amounts to EUR 490 million, which will cover procurement and grant activities, including the GSA-ESA working arrangements and a programme management reserve, along with related research and development activities. The financing of the full exploitation phase will be confirmed during a mid-term review before the end of 2016.