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European Commission

Antonio TAJANI

European Commission Vice President responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship

London Space Conference

London Space Conference/London

3 December 2012

Thank you Mrs Mealing-Jones,

for your introduction, and welcome everyone to the Space conference.

Before we start, I would like to say thank you to David Willets for his continued support in the organization of this event. It is a privilege for me to share this podium with great entrepreneurs and advocates of Europe’s space services.

Ladies and gentleman,

we do not always realise the benefits of space services and their applications. They are, however, all around us. 77 million Europeans watch TV channels transmitted by satellites. Many of us have smart phones which use GPS signals. Soon we will be carrying phones which receive our very own Galileo signal.

I would like to start by outlining the Commission’s vision.

As you know the Commission adopted on the 10th of October its strategy for a new industrial policy. Its main objective is the Re-industrialization of Europe. That is why we have introduced a new target: by 2020 we want 20% of EU GDP to come from Industry. Space is at the centre of this new industrial revolution.


Only a few weeks ago, on October 12th, we achieved a key objective of our Galileo programme. Two Galileo satellites were successfully launched from Kouru in French Guyana. We now have four satellites in orbit enabling us to validate the system. Galileo is no longer just a theory. It is a reality. I’m pleased to add that due to strict controls, we stayed within the budget.

I continue to pursue the acceleration of the deployment. In February I ordered 8 additional satellites. We have now ordered 26 satellites (including the four already launched). Our launch plans include the deployment of 18 satellites in orbit by 2014.

The deployment of the constellation is important. But what is more important is creating tangible benefits for European citizens and businesses.

My political objective is the delivery of the first services before the end of 2014.

For this to happen, it is crucial that all the players involved in the deployment of the project respect their commitments.

I want to make it clear: we will not deviate from our roadmap. We will not make exemptions.

To this purpose, a task force on services composed of the ESA, GSA and the Commission is preparing the way forward.

The market for these services is already worth more than €100 billion. By 2025 it is estimated to increase to €200 billion.

Industry must prepare now for these services. In addition, we need to make our devices technically ready to receive signals from Galileo.

This is why, we have decided to dedicate this conference to space applications. And this is why, at the margins of this conference, I have called for a meeting with the representatives of chip manufactures and Galileo service.

The message we want to pass, and I am sure that Minister Willets will agree with me, is the following: We need to get ready!

At EU level, we will face this challenge on two levels:

1) First, application development needs to be encouraged. We think that Horizon 2020, the future programme for research and innovation, is the best tool to support the development of Galileo applications.

2) Second, we need to ensure the Market up-take of Galileo. The USA, Russia and China have taken measures to promote the uptake of their systems, (GPS, GLONASS, COMPASS,) especially in their domestic markets. We are therefore investigating, how to ensure a favourable market uptake of the Galileo, especially in strategic sectors or in public services (I am thinking for examples to the emergency number 112).


As you know, we do not start from zero. We already have a success story to tell: EGNOS is now fully operational.

I am particularly pleased with this achievement. It delivers 3 operational services:

-the Open Service;

-the Safety-of-Life service which is serving EU airports;

-the EGNOS Data Access service, declared operational on July 26th this year;

The accuracy brought by EGNOS today, soon to be complimented by Galileo, means vehicles can be located in real-time. Companies can optimise resources and dangerous goods can be transported safely.

Transport is by far the biggest domain of application of GNSS: about 60% of the market uses Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) for roads. GNSS applications in road transport are expected to have a penetration of 90% by 2020.

But besides "usual suspects" sectors, like transport, there are many other sectors like energy, finance and health where Galileo will make the difference:

  • "Smart grids" improve stability and security. However, they need precise synchronisation. The extremely accurate clock signals of Galileo satellites can provide this synchronisation.

  • For our banks and businesses, accurate clocks signals are also vital to financial transactions which require accurate time-stamping.

  • In the healthcare sector: Galileo applications can give increased mobility to the blind and partially sighted and to those persons with reduced mobility.

Later today, we will witness these applications being used at the assisted living event at the European Space Expo. I will also be trying out the ’Inclusion’ mobility-impaired device with gold medallist Paralympian, Peter Norfolk. I am very much looking forward to this.

I am sure that in the course of this event we will hear a lot more about these applications.

The list is endless.

It is estimated that 6-7 % of the EU economy depends on the availability of GNSS signals, at present, from GPS. Soon from our own Galileo. A totally independent infrastructure owned 100% by the European Union.


Finally, some words on GMES, our Global Monitoring Earth System, whose applications are already in use.

GMES emergency service has been operational since 1st April 2012. Just to give you an example, four hours after a serious earthquake hit the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, in July this year GMES provided new reference maps to facilitate the work of the emergency teams.

Its satellite images have also been used in operations dealing with floods, forest fires and earthquakes in many European countries.

Besides, GMES can help us in monitoring the effects of climate change or air quality.

As it happens already in London. As a matter of fact, at the occasion of the London Olympics we have developed an application, Observair, which provides to citizens and athletes information about the air quality of the city of London

Finally, GMES will have a positive impact on economic growth and job creation. Studies show that the socio-economic benefits exceed four to twelve times the cost.


Ladies and gentleman,

we have the competences in Europe to make use of these systems: by developing more GNSS-based applications, and by increasing the market penetration of those already available.

Therefore we want to listen to the ideas and the needs of the industry, who will presented here this afternoon.

We are at this conference today, to exchange and discover present and future European Space Solutions. They are here – it's time to use them!

Thank you.

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