Drones can deliver medical supplies, make dangerous jobs safer and protect endangered species. However, regulations in many countries prevent drones from fulfilling their potential by blocking their access to airspace. Governments are struggling to develop regulations that harness the benefits of drones while minimizing the risks.
To address these challenges, the World Economic Forum has created the Drone Innovators Network. “Drones and autonomous flying vehicles, key parts of the fourth industrial revolution, provide an opportunity to revolutionize mobility networks. The Drone Innovators Network launch event at ETH Zurich brings together government, industry, academia, and civil society to co-design the principles and protocols which will maximize the benefits to society and mitigate the risks of drone technology,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman at the World Economic Forum.
The inaugural event was held today at ETH Zurich. More than 100 guests from the political arena, research and industry attended the meeting. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard opened the congress that was jointly organised by DETEC and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
“It is not by chance that the first international Drone Innovators Network meeting is taking place in Switzerland; Switzerland is a leader in drone technology,” said Doris Leuthard, Federal Councillor, Switzerland. “The close collaboration between institutes of technology, industry and the authorities makes Switzerland an attractive location for start-ups, companies and academic research. Switzerland is, therefore, playing a pioneering role in this area today.”
Start-ups play an important role in this ecosystem. The last big news Startupticker reported about was the financing round of Verity Studios, an spin-off from ETH Zurich. Three weeks ago, Verity raised $18 million in a Series A funding round from the likes of Airbus and Sony to expand and accelerate growth in the US market. Another drone start-up, Involi, made it to the Top 3 of the >>venture>> competition yesterday after winning the award of the W.A. de Vigier Foundation a few weeks ago. Other succesful startups are for example Meteomatics, Flyability, Gamaya and Wingtra (Picture above). In total, there are dozends of drone start-ups active in Switzerland as the Swiss Drone Industry Map shows.
More information about Switzerland’s drone ecosystem can be found in an article published today by ETH News and on the website Home of Drones.
(Press release / Stefan Kyora)