The community has begun 2021 with 117 members, 89 of whom are companies and 28 are entities
Catalonia Smart Drons held the seventh annual conference virtually on Tuesday 26 January, in which the milestones achieved during the year 2020 were analysed and the year’s objectives were presented. The session also featured the presentation of success stories by companies in the Catalan drone ecosystem, as well as new opportunities for the sector that are linked to the NewSpace Strategy of Catalonia. However, much of the day was devoted to explaining in detail the news of the new European UAS regulations that have recently entered into force.
The Director General of Innovation and Digital Economy of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Daniel Marco, gave the institutional welcome to about seventy attendees highlighting the dynamism of the drone sector in Catalonia and the process of digitization of the activity of Catalonia Smart Drones to bring valuable opportunities to its members. During 2020, the community offered sectoral revitalization activities, training courses for the different departments of the public administration and participation in conferences such as the BNEW congress among others, such as European funding.
Catalonia Smart Drones has started this year with 117 members, of which 89 are companies and 28 are entities. Regarding the sector revitalization activity, in 2020, 5 brokerage events were held with the sectors of health, industry, utilities and agri-food with the aim of generating opportunities for collaboration between the ICT sector and companies in these fields. The result was 147 solutions for the 35 challenges collected and 115 bilateral meetings with 100 participants. Attendees were able to learn about the community’s goals and activities planned for 2021.
During the session, the balance of the European Aerial Uptake project was also presented, of which the Government of Catalonia and the i2CAT Foundation are part. The initiative promotes the exchange of experiences and the generation of knowledge and innovation in the field of drones with the aim of influencing public policies and promoting the social acceptance of drones.
Regarding the context of the drone sector, on 31 December 2020, the new European regulations came into force, establishing a new regulatory framework for the future of UAS. This will involve changes in the industry and operations in the global field and, for this reason, the annual session was attended by the executive MBA and aeronautical engineer, Àlex de la Torre, of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). De la Torre clearly set out the details of the new regulations and their effects and resolved the specific doubts of the attendees.
The day was also attended by companies that have developed successful projects during 2020. This is the case of Octocam Maps and Geonumerics, which presented MAP4CAT, a project of 3D road mapping based on the use combined of a high-capacity drone and land vehicles; Flock Drone Art, the Catalan company pioneering in the territory to offer light and colour shows with drones; SITEP, which presented its high-performance helicopter design and manufacturing operations, along with two drone projects: Hamelin and VIPEX; and finally, Advanced Air Mobility unveiled its fully electric, sustainable and autonomous air mobility system.