The Flying High Challenge

April has been a busy month for the Flying High Team. We are working closely with the city technical leads and key organisations to shape the five use cases selected for the technical and economic feasibility studies. The team have also been visiting the cities to develop and facilitate stakeholder workshops, which will provide input into each ‘City Vision’ for the future of drones.

Stakeholder Workshops

As part of the Flying High Challenge, we are facilitating a series of Stakeholder Workshops, one in each city, to identify the ways in which drones can align with local priorities and to understand the conditions under which communities would like to see drones operate in their city. More details on the Stakeholder Workshops can be found on our blog on the Flying High Challenge website here.

Use Cases

The five partner cities have been working with Nesta’s technical leads to identify the following use cases for the purposes the Technical and Economic feasibility studies. These are:

Carrying medical supplies and urgent packages across water.

Drones to assess real time disasters (fire) followed by damage assessment of critical infrastructure post disaster that would otherwise be impossible to reach.

Inspecting regeneration areas within the city e.g. construction sites to improve health & safety.

An urban drone delivery network for items critical to the running of city infrastructure, including delivery of medical items between hospitals.

Use drones to rapidly respond to a traffic incident and provide real time information to the emergency services.

The next steps for the Nesta team is to undertake research and modelling necessary to identify the feasibility of these applications in the cities. They will also be working with local NHS trusts, emergency services, transport and regeneration professionals to collect data and evidence to inform the economic and technical analysis. The five feasibility studies will be part of the findings report to be published later this year.

Private Sector Briefing

TfL held a Private Sector Briefing on 16th April to give an update on the Flying High Challenge. Panel members from Nesta and TfL were joined by representatives from Loughborough University and UCLan to answer questions from the floor. This was a great opportunity for those operating in the drone industry to meet the Flying High team and network amongst each other. More information about the panel and the presentation given on the day are available on the Flying High website.

Private Sector Briefing Opportunity for SME’s

Rockwell Collins are inviting UK SMEs in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) field to apply to attend their ‘Meet the Technologist Day’ on 5th June 2018. It is an opportunity for SMEs to showcase their work to the Innovation Team. There will be an opportunity for successful entrepreneurs to take advantage of the company’s office space and lab facilities and possibly collaborate on projects.