In articles published on this web site last June 2021 and October 2021, Enterprise Europe Brussels announced the different steps taken by the European Commission respectively a roadmap and a consultation) to design possible ways to guide the further development of drones technology and its regulatory and commercial environment.
Yesterday the EC has adopted the above mentioned strategy which will contribute to a series of pivotal objectives linked to – among the others – the Green Deal, the twin gree and digital transition, the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, the Action plan on synergies between civil, defence
and space industries.
This adopted strategy reminds that « Drones are already used as daily tools in ever broadening array of data intensive-demanding economic sectors, such as agriculture, construction, surveillance, film-making, healthcare, medical emergency, energy, environment, public safety and security. Drones could be used in the future also, for example, as platforms for communication hubs or for weather and pollution monitoring, and for maintenance of renewable energy installations, especially for offshore wind. »
Behind this strategy, there’s a specific vision: to develop a thriving viable drone eco-system in the Union by 2030. The strategy covers 10 areas which should allow the development of the drone eco-system and help to achieve the vision areas, grouped under 2 main objectives.
1) build the Union drone service market,
2) strengthen the Union’s civil, security and defence industry capabilities and synergies.
Each area aims to reinforce the efficiency of the different segments of the overall drone value chain, ranging from drone operators, drone manufacturers, the defence sector, counter drones to the U-space
A series of Flagship Actions to be implemented by the European Commission to further build the European drone services market are highlighted in the strategy, as well as a series of Actions to strengthen the European drone civil, security and defence industry capabilities and synergies.
Among the actions, the EC intends to:
continue to provide funding for R&I on drones and their integration into the airspace
under the Horizon Europe programme and the European Defence Fund;
set up a coordinated series of calls under the existing EU instruments and EIB loans
to support a new flagship project on ‘drone technologies’;
consider possible amendments to the existing financing/funding framework to
ensure a consistent approach in support of dual-use research and innovation to improve synergies between civil and defence instruments;
develop a Strategic Drone Technology Roadmap in order to identify priority areas to boost research and innovation, reduce existing strategic dependencies and avoid the emergence of new ones;
The strategy (COM(2022)652 ) is available HERE