The Galileo Joint Undertaking is officially issuing a first invitation to tender for the Galileo Concession.  The invitation is published today in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the GJU website (

The Joint Undertaking, based in Brussels and established by the European Commission and the European Space Agency, will then be able to shortlist undertakings or consortia bidding to become the Concession-holder for Galileo’s deployment phase and subsequent operations phase.

Bidders will be evaluated on the basis of their technical and financial credentials and their ability to put forward a coherent business plan, notably for the delivery of the future Galileo system services.

The Joint Undertaking, drawing on a statement of work, will then start up negotiations with those shortlisted with a view to eventually awarding the Concession Contract and selecting the future Galileo Operating Company, the private concern due to take charge under the operations phase.
In the short term, under the development and validation phase, ESA is responsible for the end-2005 launch of a first experimental satellite designed to test the new technologies in  orbit.

The Galileo system will complement the sole alternative satellite navigation option: the US Global Positioning System.  Galileo, whose development and validation phase is being co-funded by ESA and the EU, will give Europeans – and indeed the world  at large – a precise and secured satellite positioning facility.

The many applications include road/rail/air/maritime transport, professional services and search & rescue.  The forecast economic spin-offs are very substantial, with a cost-benefit ratio estimated at 4.6 and the creation of over 140,000 jobs.

The Galileo system will be built around a constellation of 30 satellites providing excellent coverage of the entire planet and a ground infrastructure to include two centres in Europe to control satellite operations and manage the navigation system.