i2CAT kicks off Aerial Uptake, aimed to unleash the potential of commercial and civil UAS




The Catalan center will cooperate with nine partners from six countries to promote the uptake of innovative Unmanned Aerial Systems in the EU

The European project Aerial Uptake officially started on 1st August 2019. Aerial Uptake aims to remove barriers that hinder the successful application of innovative drone technology across the European Union. The i2CAT Foundation and the Government of Catalonia are the only organizations in Spain to take part in the project.

While drone applications have promising potential in the field of e.g. public safety, logistics and agriculture, a lacking European level playing field and limited knowledge and public acceptance of this emerging technology call for improved regional development policies to overcome these barriers.

The Interreg project Aerial Uptake aims at improving the performance of these policies and programmes by strengthening their contribution to the delivery of new technologies and applications of unmanned aerial systems (often referred to as drones) for civil and commercial usage. The members of the project’s consortium celebrated its kick-off meeting last August 29th and 30th in Enschede, the Netherlands. The meeting included a site visit to Space53, the drone cluster located in the Eastern Netherlands.

The project aims to reach its objective through interregional learning activities among nine partners from six European countries consisting of municipalities, regional governments and research institutes: Province of Overijssel and City of Enschede (The Netherlands), Government of Catalonia and the i2CAT Foundation (Spain), City of Osijek (Croatia), Rzeszow Regional Development Agency (Poland), Preston City Council and University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom) and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

The collaboration will focus on three thematic fields. Firstly, fostering innovation through facilitative measures for experimenting, testing and demonstrating novel UAS technologies. Secondly, promoting market uptake through enhanced quadruple helix collaboration, networking and clustering. Lastly, improving societal acceptance by addressing ethical, legal and social concerns, raising public demand and due consideration of potential social impacts and benefits.