Nesta Challenges has commissioned research into how drones could benefit UK cities in the next 15 years.
Its Flying High programme, with research from PricewaterhouseCoopers, found that the UK public sector could save £1.1billion and increase GDP by £6.9billion by 2035.
In looking at specific cities it found that Birmingham could save £115m and increase GDP by £678m. London, meanwhile, could save £53m and increase GDP by £1.4billion.
Money would be saved in a number of ways, the report (titled ‘Flying high – Seizing the opportunity’) suggested.
Emergency services would be the sector helped most by drones.
Efficient transportation of medical supplies or blood samples and early assessment of situations by police and fire services were two such ways the report suggested.
Tris Dyson, executive director of Nesta Challenges, said: “Drones delivering public services in cities could be part of our reality in the near future, bringing major benefits for the public sector.
“This is a great opportunity but cities and the public they represent will be critical in enabling the development of these urban drone services. If we can integrate technology, regulation, city leadership, public services and public engagement, we will help position the UK as a global leader in developing urban drone services and will unlock the significant economic opportunity for our future.”