The city of Enschede successfully filed a grant proposal under the 4th call of the INTERREG EUROPE programme with its project ‘Aerial Uptake’ aiming at removing barriers to the uptake of innovative Unmanned Aerial Systems in the EU.

The project brings together a partnership of 9 parties from 6 different countries that would like to stimulate the uptake of commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones. Potential fields of application can bring broad social benefits, i.e. in public safety, logistics, environmental protection and monitoring, agriculture, etc. These potentials are also picked up by the European Commission that highlighted that UAS technologies offer huge potential for the development of innovative civil applications in a wide variety of sectors that benefit European society and constitute an emerging market that is able to significantly add to the creation of jobs and growth. The industry however faces some unique challenges within the EU, caused by a lack of unified European standards and a fragmented landscape of regulatory bodies & policies, as well as limited knowledge, awareness and low level of public acceptance of this emerging technology. Although many policies targeting UASs are made at national and EU levels, significant work can be done at local / regional level to exploit innovation potential of UAS applications, as well as economic and societal benefits particularly in an urban context. Regional development policies shall create a favourable environment, allowing a flexible framework for experimentation, demonstration and market uptake of drone technology. AERIAL UPTAKE brings together local / regional public authorities and key players of the UAS sector from 6 European regions, being pioneers in the creation of a single European drone market, including the leading cluster of Space53 in Enschede at the Twente Airbase. The involved clusters will exchange and transfer knowledge to unleash the potentials of UAS technology for civil and commercial usages. Besides exploring and addressing the key needs and bottlenecks of innovation and commercialisation of UAS, partners investigate tailored solutions for increasing societal acceptance by enhancing and articulating positive social impacts of drone technology. The project has been developed by Euquest BV.