Fri, Nov 16, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese claim prize at satellite navigation contest

COLLABORATION:The entry was a prototype developed by Hua-chuang Automobile Information Technical Center Co and the Industrial Technology Research Institute

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese have won a prototype prize at the European Satellite Navigation Competition, the state-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) said yesterday.

Taiwan’s entry, a “connected vehicle” prototype, was awarded the Galileo Pro title, the second-highest in the prototype category.

The project, called “Driving with Safety, Responsiveness and Courtesy,” uses integrated automobile and communication technology. It allows drivers to send warnings or thank-you signals to nearby vehicles by pressing a button, instead of using the common forms of traffic communication such as hand signals or horns, the ITRI said.

The prototype, submitted by Hua-chuang Automobile Information Technical Center Co and the ITRI, vied with 64 other entries in that category, the institute said.

The overall winner was a project from Portugal that aimed to offer seamless, reliable navigation, even indoors, by means of ultra-low-frequency magnetic field communication (ULF-MC), according to the competition Web site.

The European Satellite Navigation Competition is an international competition aimed at stimulating ideas, incubation and development of applications and services made possible by the European satellite navigation system Galileo.

Organized by Germany’s Application Center for Satellite Navigation Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO) since 2004, the competition is geared toward companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes, universities and private individuals.

This year, a total of 406 entries from more than 40 countries were submitted.

At the award ceremony, Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of the AZO, pointed out that the competition has enjoyed a very successful partnership with Taiwan and the ITRI since 2008.

He said that a total of 400 submissions from Taiwan have established the country as the competition’s most valuable partner. Moreover, a Taiwanese initiative led to the start of a new chapter for the competition last year — the inauguration of a prototyping prize, he said. With the integration of the prototyping prize, the competition has expanded its scope to include both ideas and their development into fully fledged products, he said.

Asked about the innovation power of the ITRI, Rudolph said the institute was good at transforming ideas or concepts into substantial products, which was evidenced by its cooperation with Hua-chuang to win this year’s prototyping prize.

“They really want to work with the industry at the beginning,” he said.

“The risk of a development to fail can be reduced by the strategy,” Rudolph said

“This is very important also for European companies to use these prototypes and come to Taiwan and cooperate with the ITRI,” he said.

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