European Navigation Conference 2016 (ENC) in Helsinki

The European Navigation Conference is an annual congress organized under the auspices of the European Group of Institutes of Navigation (EUGIN). Gathering 150 members of the scientific community and more than 300 guests overall, the ENC is a unique opportunity to meet all the key players in the navigation domain. The ENC 2016 focussed on innovations in positioning, navigation and timing technologies and applications at land, sea and air. In order to provide a platform for industrial representatives and researchers from Japan, held a dedicated session geared towards intercontinental cooperation in GNSS applications on the 1st of June. 

The afternoon session “Industrial cooperation across continents in multi-GNSS applications” attracted almost 40 participants from Asia and Europe. To start off the session, Mr. Murai Yoshiyuki the executive director for the promotion of QZSS utilization presented a comprehensive overview of the current status of the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System and an inside view on plans to stimulate user uptake in Japan’s neighbouring countries. For the first time in Europe, Mr Yoshiyuki shared concrete demonstration results on the impressive accuracy improvements that can be achieved by augmenting GPS with QZSS, especially in urban environments. Dr. Kazutoshi Sato from the Satellite Navigation Unit of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Prof. Naohiko Kohtake from Keio University then highlighted innovative ways Japanese entities are planning to exploit the upcoming improvements in GNSS services. Finally, Mr. Baastian Ober from Iguassu and Mr. Olivier Desenfans from M3 Systems showed that indeed European businesses might find ways to contribute to this development in cooperation with counterparts in Japan.

In summary, the session underscored the importance of a European interface for businesses from Japan interested in cooperating in the GNSS sector. While the willingness to expand operations to Europe is not absent, entities from Asia will need to be supported in finding fitting counterparts. is funded by the European Union within Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, under grant agreement no 641615.