Projects harnessing technology to support the fight against COVID-19 and other challenges like climate change, have been backed by government investment.
And among the 20 winning ideas from first wave of projects, which will receive a share of £7 million funding, three involve businesses based in our region.
Windracers SWARM technology Bristol, Southampton) will develop technology which allows multiple drones to fly in close formations for a variety of purposes including fighting fires and providing humanitarian aid.
Dock-to-Dock will demonstrate an alternative to road transportation between coastal cities, developing a pilot project to deliver goods by air using clean energy: initially between Avonmouth Docks in Bristol and Cardiff Docks in Wales. The project will focus on vehicle performance and the infrastructure necessary for hydrogen-powered electric aircraft which take-off and land vertically, and therefore don’t require runways.
Malvern-based Droneprep Ltd, is working with Consortiq Limited and Windracers Limited, based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, to use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver critical PPE and Covid-19 testing kits to vulnerable, rural communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The £7 million is part of a total investment in new technologies of £33.5 million which comes from the Future Flight Challenge, which aims to increase mobility, reduce reliance on road travel thereby improving road congestion, and increase UK manufacturing opportunities.