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Denmark's first drone strategy takes flight

September 28, 2016
Drones present great potential to improve productivity and growth. The Danish government wants to support this potential and has launched Denmark's first drone strategy.

The aim is to strengthen the bridge of knowledge between Danish businesses and researchers to develop drone technology and create new jobs.

Drones can take on and carry out many difficult and dangerous tasks more efficiently - tasks which are currently either carried out manually or not at all. Danish companies, researchers and public authorities are already making use of drones within fields such as energy supply, off-shore activities, agriculture, fisheries, nature and environmental protections and geographical data.

However, there is still some way to go before the opportunities presented by drone technology are fully utilised and transformed into jobs and growth across Denmark. The Government wishes to strengthen this development and has presented an ambitious drone strategy. Meanwhile the Minister for Higher Education and Science has allocated DKK 30 million to a new national drone research infrastructure.

- Drone technology provides opportunities today that could only be imagined just a few years ago. It is important that legislation, research and enterprise keep up with developments so we can transform knowledge into value. The Government will create the foundation for an ambitious and responsible use of drones in the future with this national drone strategy, says Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs.

The strategy has been developed concurrently with the development of a new regulation for the operation of drones from the Ministry of Transport and Building. The new regulations will create clear rules for the use of commercial drones with regard to flight safety and individual privacy.

- I am pleased that we created the first legislation for drones in May. It is a rapidly developing area, which I also experienced during a round-table meeting with representatives from the drone industry earlier this year. It is my objective that Denmark continues to be a leader in the drone field. And we have laid the groundwork for growth and jobs within the field with this new legislation. I am pleased to present the Government's drone strategy today in Odense where we also hope to see an international drone test centre at the local HCA Airport, says Minister for Transport and Building Hans Christian Schmidt.

The strategy highlights 6 areas and 23 concrete initiatives. Focus areas include research in drone technology, establishing internationally attractive test facilities in Denmark, strengthening educational activities, and promoting exports in the drone area. Initiatives include an educational course on drones for the Danish Emergency Management Agency's operational commanders and drone operators, a task force for ensuring the regular testing of drones at HCA Airport on Funen, and the educating of new drone operators on privacy, safety and meteorology at approved drone schools.

The Minister for Higher Education and Science is allocating DKK 30 million to a national drone research infrastructure called UAS-ability, comprising three centres of drone technology research at the University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University and Aarhus University. The research infrastructure in a proposal from the Danish Roadmap for Research Infrastructure 2015 and is supported by many other universities and research institutions as well as the business community.

As part of the negotiations on the research reserve pool later in the year, the Government is proposing the allocation of funds to research and innovation in drone technology.

For further information please contact:

Press Adviser Trine Søndergaard, Ministry of Higher Education and Science, tel. +45 7231 8009, tri@ufm.dk
Head of Press Section Martin Østergaard-Nielsen, Ministry of Transport and Building, tel. +45 2129 0733, mon@trm.dk

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