Fund announced to help drones deliver COVID-19 tests and supplies
By Matt Hall | 9th November 2020
Projects harnessing the latest technology to support the fight against COVID-19 and other challenges like climate change have been backed by a new government fund.
The first 20 winning ideas will receive a share of £7 million which will fund projects ranging from the development of drones capable of delivering COVID-19 medical supplies to remote areas, to technology to enable remote inspections of infrastructure and construction sites.
It forms part of a wider £33.5 million investment with an additional 28 potential projects also in the pipeline for government backing.
Projects to receive cash in the first round of funding include Essex based APIAN Limited is creating and building a drone to deliver medical supplies like COVID-19 blood and swab tests between NHS hospitals and labs in response to the pandemic, protecting key NHS staff and the wider public from coronavirus transmission.
Droneprep Ltd, Consortiq Limited and Windracers Limited, based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, will use funds to develop and fly unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver critical PPE and Covid-19 testing kits to vulnerable, rural communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: "The UK is already a world-leader when it comes to innovation in aviation and this funding will allow us to carry on supporting the extraordinary work taking place right across the country.
"Innovation delivers real change and our support for dynamic ideas in this exciting sector means we are now seeing real life solutions, like the drone delivery of COVID-19 medical supplies, for challenges such as public health and climate change."
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