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Test your Satellite Navigation Application at a Living Lab

In this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition, the GNSS Living Lab Prize is searching for the best proposals for prototypes of products and services in the fields of health, energy, and media. In addition, the applications should include satellite positioning technology. The entrant who submits the best solution will be awarded EUR 10,000 in cash and have the opportunity to have the winning product tested at one of the 270 facilities in the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), where relevant communities of future users will help prevent errors in development and improve the solution’s usability.

Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany, 10 June 2011: : Interest in Living Labs (LL), often described as "user-centred, open-innovation ecosystems," has grown among research and user communities in Europe. Living Labs perform valuable feasibility checking on new ideas and prototypes by having relevant user communities test products and services and provide the developers with helpful feedback. Space and satellite navigation technologies in particular can draw on what Roberto Santoro, vice president of ENoLL, calls the power of collaboration among research, industry, and future customers.

For the past several years, the European Satellite Navigation Competition has been promoting the development of commercial applications based on satellite technology. The GNSS Living Lab Prize focuses in particular on those entries that deal with the subjects of healthcare, energy, or media and are already advanced enough to be tested at a suitable Living Lab. Last year, every sixth idea entered into the competition applied for the GNSS Living Lab Prize. "Inventors know that the key to success is coming up with a product that’s oriented towards its consumers," says Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, which organises the competition.

In addition to a free Living Lab feasibility check, the winner will receive EUR 10,000. A Living Lab is the perfect platform not only for testing your product’s functionalities, but for improving its usability, as well. This benefits both the winner and the other participants in the competition. Furthermore, it creates new business opportunities and ventures, exploits synergies with regional initiatives and funding programmes, and creates added value for the GNSS market.

During the prize’s debut last year, three winners were announced – one for each of the topic areas of healthcare, energy, and media. The project OpenCarData from the Dutch company doss B.V., which generates real-world carbon emission profiles for cars, won in the energy category. It provides a management tool with which drivers, fleet owners, and governments can share, compare, and eventually reduce their CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, the German company Kreative Technologie LWU won the GNSS Living Lab Prize in the area of health with Cardiac Power Monitoring. This solution monitors cardiac exertion during any kind of endurance training that involves travelling some distance. In the third category – media – the digital information, navigation, and orientation system (DINOS) for smart cities from Malta’s TR Associates Ltd. won the jury over. In addition to helping tourists get around, this system tells them, for example, how long the queues at certain attractions are and suggests alternative places of interest.

The winners’ proposals impressed more than just last year’s jury: 15 Living Labs also vied for the opportunity to conduct everyday feasibility checks on the winning projects. All three of last year’s winners have since found homes at suitable Living Labs where they are undergoing testing by future users and potential customers under real-world conditions.

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