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Building European Links toward South East Asia in the field of GNSS

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BELS (Building European Links toward South East Asia in the field of GNSS)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2018-05-31

BELS has implemented a set of coordinated actions to promote EGNSS technologies in South East Asia (SEA), a fast-growing market of more than 600 million people. BELS activities have spanned a 3-year period in which Galileo Initial Services have started and the Galileo constellation has been completed: just the perfect moment to pave the way for the introduction of Galileo services in SEA. BELS focused its action on European companies, by facilitating their entrances into a new growing market, and on South East Asian countries, by heading them to discover the potentialities of EGNSS technology. Main objective was to facilitate the breakthrough of EGNSS technology in SEA through a set of coordinated activities for awareness raising, capacity building and tests of solutions.
Focal point of the action is the Navis Centre in Hanoi, Vietnam, whose mission is to act as linking entity between Europe and SEA in the field of GNSS. The NAVIS aims to ease cross-links between EU and SEA actors, to promote EGNSS technology, and reinforce international collaboration among players.

The Region around the NAVIS Centre has the highest multi-GNSS coverage and is the natural place where performance and opportunities offered by the different GNSSs are compared and tested. Important ionospheric scintillation phenomena, affecting GNSS systems, take place in subtropical regions and can be observed in SEA. Mitigation of the consequences of scintillation is crucial for ensuring better equipment and services that are key factors for gaining larger market shares.
BELS contributed to facilitate the exploitation of the NAVIS Centre by European companies. Its peculiar geographic position (excellent visibility of all the GNSS systems today available - the so-called Multi-GNSS environment - and high ionospheric activity) makes it a perfect site to test GNSS solutions of European companies to make them ready for the global market.

During its lifespan, BELS largely achieved its objectives: 18 companies have been accompanied in Vietnam to meet relevant officers and stakeholders, while 11 have tested their GNSS equipment and solutions in Hanoi. All the companies have now a better understanding of the SEA environment and are ready to start their deals there. Some of them have already establish business relations in the regions. More than 1000 SEA governmental officers, companies and researchers have been involved in BELS+ activities and have been exposed to EGNSS technology. Reliable relations have been established in all SEA countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam), which opens opportunities for future activities in the region.
Overall, all planned activities have been carried on, all objectives fulfilled and all expected impacts matched:
• To increase the awareness among EU companies about opportunities offered by the SEA markets
This was achieved through different activities such as: organisation of workshops and events in different European countries in collaboration with European and national clusters; participation to international conferences and workshops to promote the project activities; interviews and articles published on GSA websites, notes included in partners' newsletters; distribution of leaflets and dissemination material; collaboration with other H2020 projects to exploit synergies; website and presence on several social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
• To increase awareness among SEA stakeholders of the EGNSS added value
The organisation of 10 short workshops in each of the ASEAN Member States in collaboration with local governmental departments has allowed the BELS consortium to present to local officers and decision makers the added values of EGNSS. BELS was also co-organiser in three editions of the Multi-GNSS Asia (MGA) Conference in collaboration with Japanese, South East Asian and European actors. BELS facilitated and promoted the involvement of several EU companies in the workshops and conferences. This brought SEA stakeholders in direct contact with EGNSS solutions thus facilitating future business and collaborations.
• To increase awareness at EC level of the relevance of SEA Region in terms of EGNSS market potentials
Project partners have constantly informed GSA and EC of available opportunities in SEA and of local interests in EGNSS. The organization of a session focused on adoption of Galileo outside Europe at the Munich Satellite Summit 2018 with the participation of a representative of EC DG-GROW allowed BELS partners to present the outcomes of the project and the opportunities offered by the region. Some of the companies which benefitted of BELS actions testified their experience.
• To strengthen links between EU and SEA/Asia-Pacific institutions involved in GNSS
Through the participation to events in SEA and the organisation of the short workshops and of the MGA conferences, BELS partners and EU companies had the opportunity to have a deeper knowledge of the key local actors working in GNSS and related applications.
• To have GNSS solutions of EU companies ready for SEA market
The European companies which applied to BELS calls had the opportunity to test their equipment and solutions at the Navis Centre in Hanoi and in some other countries. The conducted tests allowed them to acquire valuable information on the performance of their solutions in the presence of strong scintillations effects and in interference environments which are not available in Europe. Some of the companies had also the opportunity to look for local distributors in the region. The companies have acquired a good knowledge of SEA governmental and business environment.
• To train a new young generation of SEA researchers and technicians on EGNSS topics to make them ready to foster the use of EGNSS in SEA region.
BELS has offered training periods in Europe to South East Asian researchers and PhD students which applied to a specific call issued by the project. These people had the opportunity to spend 3 months in European universities and research institutes. In addition, several researchers of the Navis Centre and PhD students from Vietnam not only visited European universities and research centres, but also spent some time in European GNSS companies. These people are now trained on EGNSS and can spread their knowledge among their colleagues at home.
BELS supported EU Companies to test their EGNSS solutions using the NAVIS Centre in Vietnam where a truly Multi-GNSS environment, not present in Europe, is available. Contacts initiated within the BELS project by EU enterprises with SEA GNSS stakeholders, technicians and researchers will facilitate the development of future market opportunities in SEA. In addition, collaborations set-up during the project will allow the continuation of experiments and tests in NAVIS Centre also after the end of the project.
BELS promoted the European GNSS initiatives in all SEA countries through both workshops and other specific initiatives such as training sessions, competition for SEA entrepreneurs, etc. paving the way to the adoption of Galileo-based solutions in those countries.
BELS supported the readiness of the NAVIS Centre to act as a linking entry between EU and SEA to promote EGNSS in the whole region.
Overall, BELS has tightened EU-SEA links in GNSS and its partners are ready to support the EC and its Agencies in their actions in the region.
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