While Switzerland has been most well-known for banks, chocolate and watches, in the last decade it has become largely known for as being the Home of Drones. Particularly, Lausanne Region plays an important part in this, being home to numerous companies in the drone ecosystem, notably senseFly, Flyability, Pix4D and, recently, Involi, all set up by alumni of EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), one of the best polytechnics’ universities in the world.
Every year, Lausanne Region awards the PERL Prize (Prix Entreprendre Région Lausanne) to the most innovative and dynamic company, with a promising perspective of development. Acknowledging the importance of drones in the years to come, and their safe integration into the air traffic, it was Involi to win the big prize this year, having been selected amongst a handful of high-tech companies from a variety of domains, from energy to nanosatellite communications.
Involi is in the business of air traffic data, particularly at low altitude, meant to offer air traffic awareness to drones. The technology detects aircraft in real-time, especially the ones flying low and at risk of hitting drones (including helicopters, aircraft, gliders, etc.). Such data is gathered through a network of in-house developed detection devices, deployed as a dense network covering a designated area. Nothing is added onto the drone as to not diminish its autonomy, the system is decentralized on the ground over existing infrastructure, such as cell towers or rooftops.
As of this March, Involi is also part of the Swiss U-Space, the country wide initiative for safely integrating drones into the air traffic, managed by skyguide, the national ANSP, and FOCA, the Swiss Federal Aviation Authority.
There is a lot happening in the drone eco-system in Switzerland and Lausanne Region picked up on this and recognized Involi at the top of innovation in the highly competitive environment of the area. “Lausanne Region is already ahead of most in terms on comprehension of the drones and the impact they will have on every aspect of our lives in the next years, this also due to the important drone hub in the area.
The recognition for Involi through this prize is once more a reinforcement of this forward-thinking position which could be an example for the rest of the world.” declared Manu Lubrano, CEO of Involi.
Mélanie Guittet, Business Development adds: “Our system can be installed everywhere, and we plan to replicate the Swiss iteration in all other countries. This prize boosts our internationalization strategy as we take it as an indication that our community is ready to welcome drones.”