£500k competition to see five UK cities chosen as ‘test sites’ for drone systems

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Applications have now closed for a competition which will see UK cities contest for £500,000 of funding to experiment with how drone systems could work within their communities.

The Flying High Challenge is a programme developed by UK charity Nesta in partnership with the Government’s Innovate UK, and is designed to help the UK become a “global leader in shaping drone systems that place people’s needs first”.

The first phase of the challenge considers how drone technology develops to meet the needs and realities of urban life, ultimately leading to subsequent phases focused on the development of technology challenges culminating in large-scale, live, real-world demonstrations of integrated drone systems.

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Nesta sought applications from forward-thinking cities who were bidding to participate in a four-month strategic visioning exercise scheduled for this year to identify how drone systems could work alongside cities and their communities.

Up to five places will be allocated to cities through the competition and the cities will then collaborate with Nesta to explore if and how drones could operate in a complex city environment, using their own community as a testbed.

The five ‘Flying High Cities’ will have access to a team at Nesta as well as technical, regulator and Government officials, and will benefit from accelerated learning and knowledge sharing nationally as well as the opportunity to develop visions and strategies specific to their community.

Tags : citydrone systemsflying high challengegovernmentNestaUAS
Joe Peskett

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