Galileo is a joint European Commission-European Space Agency (ESA) initiative, and was to be financed through a public-private partnership.
Under the partnership, the public sector was to be responsible for funding the launch of Galileo's' first four satellites, while the private consortium would build the remaining 26 satellites. The planned network of 30 Galileo satellites is intended to beam radio signals to receivers on the ground, enabling users to pinpoint exact locations.
The drafting of the roadmap was prompted by the failure of the companies within the Joint Undertaking to agree on a single company structure for the running of the system. During negotiations, it became clear that the companies were reluctant to take on the design and market risk of system.
Mindful of the need to avoid any further delays and to maintain the tight schedule for implementation, the new roadmap proposes ending the current negotiations and 're-profiling' the current public-private partnership.
In the proposed new partnership, the public sector would take on the launching of the full set of satellites and ground segments, which would be directly overseen by the European Commission. ESA would continue to provide technical expertise.
'If the private sector is to play a role, it will be further down stream in the applications, so the idea is to re-profile this PPP [public-private partnership],' explained Jacques Barrot, at a press conference in Brussels on 16 May.
Mr Barrot denied claims that the reason for the deadlock with industry was due to concerns that Galileo would not be a profitable venture. 'Just because the consortium couldn't come up with a business plan, it doesn't mean that the system is not viable. He said that extensive research had been conducted which suggested that the system has a very promising market potential. 'If we hadn't a commercial project, we would not continue,' reasoned the Commissioner.
The roadmap proposes that the funding for building Galileo's initial structure, which is estimated to be €3.4 billion, are found by the public sector alone. With €1 billion already invested, the Commission is now exploring the possibility of securing the remaining funds from the Community budget or from Member States.
Mr Barrot pointed out that the new funding scenario would in fact save taxpayers' money. In the original public and private partnership, industry was requested to provide the financing of the infrastructure as a loan, and the public sector was then expected to repay this debt, plus debt interest and the return on equity each year. The construction and operating costs would therefore be lower in the new roadmap. 'It's the difference between buying a house outright or taking out a mortgage,' said Mr Barrot. 'We won't have to pay back the loan.'
The roadmap will be tabled at the next meeting of EU transport ministers, which is scheduled for early June. Agreement on financial aspects will be reached under a co-decision procedure.
Virginia Mercouri | alfa
The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau
Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences