The UK government's East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) and the region's University of Nottingham have signed an agreement for a £9m ($18.2 million) Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) research facility, to be built on The University of Nottingham Innovation Park adjacent to its Jubilee campus.

The facility, called GNSS Research and Application Centre of Excellence (GRACE), will focus on the growth in applications for satellite navigation and positioning systems such as the US military's Navstar global positioning system and the European Union's Galileo system, which should be fully operational by 2013.

The University's Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy's (IESSG) director and its professor of satellite navigation Terry Moore says: "[The US Navstar system] will soon be joined by other systems, including Europe's Galileo, and location and timing services provided by these systems are becoming a fundamental part of all our lives. This new venture will allow us to expand our activities and work with industry."

GRACE will bring together the IESSG and the Centre for Geospatial Science to provide research, training and other support for industry, such as providing technology transfer and business development opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs. The facility's funding includes an EMDA grant of £3.4m ($6.7 million).

Source: Flight International