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$122mn support announced for GLONASS based projects

Russia, October 21, 2014: The Russian state development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) has announced that it would offer financial support to domestic companies which develop projects using the GLONASS navigation system in Russia and abroad.

For this, VEB’s sister fund —VEB Innovations — will set up a ‘GLONASS Fund’ within the fourth quarter of this year. The fund will include 5 billion rubles (about $122 million) from VEB itself, together with 3 billion rubles ($73.1 million) from private investors, whom the fund hopes to attract by the end of 2016. VEB has said that the funds will be made available by February-March 2015.

VEB has already worked out basic parameters for the project selection and received government endorsement for it. The project is set to expand the share of the global navigation market held by GLONASS, with a two-pronged approach focused on the acquisition of advanced technology and attracting new customers.

The fund’s main purpose is to support the development of new technology in the field of navigation, including support for small companies with new, innovative ideas in the field. Its goals will include the creation of an investment model that will ensure that the most promising and viable projects come to life, from conception to the production stage.

Additionally, the fund outlines European, North American and Asian technology companies whose assistance will be sought in developing new projects. These include eight European companies which VEB feels are of particularly important prospects for technology acquisition. These are iNorway’s Q-free, Switzerland’s Saphyrion, Slovakia’s Sygic, the Netherlands’ AND, France’s Benomad, and the Germany companies Peiker, Init and IVU.

These companies are involved in various aspects of navigation hardware, software, GIS and mapping software, telematics and dispatching.

Source: RIA Novosti