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Stimulating the fusion of IoT and GNSS technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - POINT.IoT (Stimulating the fusion of IoT and GNSS technologies)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-05-31

With the first Galileo services in place, Europe is placing great importance on the development of GNSS applications. The global breakthrough of GNSS relies heavily on industrial collaborations along the supply chain in the different application domains. To that end, and given the increasingly competitive GNSS environment, awareness raising - communicating Galileo differentiators - and capacity building activities are essential. Ubiquitous connectivity and the omni-presence of mobile devices in our everyday life, are leading to evolving user needs and the emergence of new location-based applications. Technologies in the area of LPWAN, 5G, drones, robotics, autonomous driving, smart cities, etc. are boosting Internet of Things (IoT) developments. These evolutions require the use of accurate and secure positioning information provided by satellite constellations such as the European Union’s Galileo.The combination of GNSS & IoT is a natural development domain to be stimulated and for new applications to be scouted and developed. Specific application domains in IoT are particularly relevant to be augmented or supported with GNSS. This is where the Point IoT programme comes in.

The objectives of the programme are to:
-Drive GNSS & IoT innovation projects into technically feasible and commercially viable businesses
-Develop business innovation tools for the GNSS and IoT community
-Facilitate access to finance for GNSS & IoT technology fusion projects
-Foster partnerships between GNSS/IoT teams, start-ups, SMEs, corporates, and other community stakeholders

The importance for society revolves in part around the programme being conceptualised as an initiative that could have a lasting and sustainable effect. Specific measures have been taken to ensure the sustainability of the components of the Point.IoT programme after project closure. The programme will make publicly available its output regarding Massive Open Online Courses, Playbooks, Inspiration stories and will support wherever possible the access to its network and facilitate any engagement with industrial and institutional actors. All these elements will have a lasting, tangible and sustainable impact beyond the project duration.
The Point IoT programme launched in December 2019 with the main goal of driving EGNSS & IoT innovation projects into commercial businesses. Over the past 18 months, we have designed and implemented a successful support programme focusing on the rapid development of demo/prototypes for early technical and market validation, involving many potential clients and investors along the way.

Our Point.Cheetah programme has scouted and selected 20 innovative IoT applications using GNSS technologies. Half of these teams have already undertaken a complete mentoring sprint. This means that they have been able to engage our multidisciplinary team of GNSS, IoT and business experts/mentors. We have witnessed tangible output from the mentoring sprints thus far, including new design of logos and mascots, new hardware enclosure prototypes for IoT devices, improved UI/UX designs for interface applications, and support with many business strategies.

In order to support these teams, we have also developed business innovation tools which are equally accessible to the wider GNSS/IoT community. Under our Point.Kangeroo programme we have published our Entrepreneur's Playbook, a training tool that guides teams with canvases, morphological maps, and customized chapters tackling pertinent GNSS and IoT questions. We have also recorded and delivered our Massive Open Online Course, which offers video lessons for 14 different technical and business topics. You may access all of these through our Point.IoT website.

An equally important part of our mission is to focus on fostering partnerships between EGNSS/IoT teams, start-ups, SMEs, corporates, and other community stakeholders. Our Success & Inspiration Stories we have written and published have served as a basis for our discussion with stakeholders, and in addition serve as a general outreach tool which showcases successful GNSS/IoT solutions. Over the past year we have been able to involve over a dozen industrial, promotional, technical and investor partners to support the programme.

The culmination of each Point IoT mentoring sprint is our closing Demonstration and Investor event. The teams get the chance to pitch their business to a panel of investors and corporates, as well as the public. Follow our social media channels if interested in attending our showcase events.
The project is currently supporting another 10 companies in accelerating their GNSS/IoT innovations. By the end of the project we will have a total of 20 inspiring teams that can testify to the usefulness and potential of the combination of these technologies. The positive socio-economic impact of IoT on citizens, businesses and governments will be even more significant thanks to the integration with Galileo, ranging from helping governments reduce healthcare costs and improving quality of life, to reducing carbon footprints, increasing access to education in remote underserved communities, and improving transportation safety. This dynamic, rapidly changing and technology rich digital environment enables the provision of ever greater added value applications. A large number of devices in the environment are becoming smarter by the day, and are in a position to interact with one another more efficiently than ever before. The combination of IoT and Galileo has gained substantial attention over the preceding years, and with the intention of connecting billions of sensors to the internet in the next few years, the Point.IoT programme is providing one the first stepping stones to boost this development.
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