By: J. David Grossman, Executive Director, GPS Innovation Alliance April 22, 2019
Earlier this month, members of the GPS Innovation Alliance (GPSIA) descended upon Washington, D.C. to meet with policymakers, regulators and their staff.
As our association’s inaugural ‘fly-in,’ the visit was an opportunity to introduce (or in some cases reintroduce) GPSIA and educate on the importance of promoting, protecting and enhancing the Global Positioning System or GPS. In total, GPSIA members met with nearly 20 offices, including on Capitol Hill, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Transportation. With last month’s launch of the GPS Caucus and introduction of a Congressional resolution in support of GPS, it was also an opportunity to ask Congressional leaders for their support of these initiatives.
During our two days in Washington, GPSIA also hosted a GPS ‘101’ briefing aimed at educating Congressional staffers on our issues.
The standing-room only crowd heard remarks from three key leaders: U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Colonel Curtis Hernandez of the National Space Council. Each provided a unique perspective on what GPS means to them and how important it is to our nation’s economy.
Following their remarks, I moderated a panel session with representatives of Trimble, Garmin and Deere & Company. This engaging conversation tackled the intricacies of the GPS constellation, including how spectrum is utilized; the relationship between 5G and GPS; and the role of GPS in modernizing aging infrastructure like roads and bridges.
Finally, GPSIA members had the opportunity to hear from Jason Kim of the Office of Space Commerce within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Kim’s remarks focused on the Administration’s priorities when it comes to commercial space activities and highlighted the recommendations from the recently released report on “Driving Space Commerce Through Effective Spectrum Policy.” GPSIA members also learned about a recent initiative from the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) that uses GPS concepts to “stimulate student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).” The free STEM curriculum which is designed for middle and high school students is available at www.gps-STEM.com.
Over the coming months, GPSIA is looking forward to expanding our alliance through new strategic partnerships, continuing our engagement in Washington with additional briefings and serving as a general resource for questions about the GPS industry. To learn more about these events and other activities, please follow us on Twitter (@GPS4Life) or sign-up for our mailing list by visiting www.gpsalliance.org.