By John Wilde
The new European Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Industry Council (EPIC) will be a forum for organizations with an interest in all PNT systems including Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). EPIC shall serve as an information and distribution portal between all stakeholders in the PNT community. Its mandate includes all GNSS constellations and related augmentation systems worldwide, both operational and in development/modernization.
EPIC will undertake to serve the interests of all stakeholders within Europe, and on behalf of Europe on the global stage, recognizing that understanding and cooperation between the world’s stakeholders is key to the successful deployment of new and improved GNSS applications. We also envision that EPIC will become a thriving forum for the exchange of new ideas and best practices, as well as becoming a knowledge center hosting working groups and task forces focusing on specific GNSS issues. EPIC would thus not only serve as a gateway but actually assist stakeholders in developing common solutions to common problems in-house.
GNSS has applications in many commercial and non-commercial fields: academia, agriculture, airline operators, civil aviation authorities, air navigation service providers, emergency services, energy suppliers, logistics, manufacturing, maritime, communications, petrochemical, rail, surveyors, and more. Therefore, EPIC will work on behalf of all GNSS stakeholders regardless of their application or business model and represents the whole community, integral to the ongoing success of GNSS. In addition it will represent the needs of users and developers of downstream applications.
EPIC stands with sister organizations in North America and Asia:
- United States GPS Industry Council
- Japan GPS Council
- Korean GNSS Technology Council
EPIC will maintain close ties to these organizations and will profit from shared practices and knowledge when mutually beneficial. Joint representation with these organizations to government GNSS authorities will be a key coordination activity.
EPIC will encourage communication and cooperation among its membership to develop new associations and partnerships to create new applications or share ideas and expertise. It will organize regional meetings, workshops, focus groups and social gatherings.
The organization will update members on the latest developments within GNSS and work to ensure that information is made available in a sensible, secure manner and shared as publicly as possible. We intend to keep EPIC a dynamic organization, reflecting the world of GNSS, responsive and adaptable to the needs of its members. Therefore, active involvement from the membership of EPIC will be crucial to its success in both setting the agenda and then realizing it. It is no accident that EPIC is intended as a forum — not just a place for debate but literally a marketplace of ideas where real transformative change can take place.
To get the ball rolling, EPIC will conduct a market survey over the next few months with potential members to clarify their requirements and ensure that EPIC starts with the issues and people that matter.
John Wilde has great experience in the GNSS field, specializing most recently in aviation requirements. He is the founder of EPIC. See also his February 2008 interview on the same subject.