The state of Queensland in Australia announced that it will invest $1 million Australian to advance the drone industry.
In an announcement Monday, the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palazczuk said that it would fund a partnership with US multi-national Boeing Company to develop and test innovative drone technology. The government says that 100 new aerospace industry jobs will be created as a result of the investment. New drone technology could be adopted by other critical industries in the region, including agriculture, mining, telecomm, and search and rescue.
“The project aims to capitalise on the capabilities inherent in drones to carry out remote-monitoring and inspection of key infrastructure and data analysis to allow for better decision-making,” Ms. Palaszczuk said. “Drone technology has the capability of introducing greater efficiencies in a range of Queensland industries and we want to make sure our state develops an industry that delivered jobs as part of this process.”
Technologies to be developed comprise an improved airspace situational awareness prototype system that will enable safe RPAS operations over a broad area and enhanced data analytics tools.
Queensland’s Innovation Minister, Leeanne Enoch, said the project was just the first of many planned in the recently announced $10 million Advance Queensland Platform Technology Program, designed to create jobs and move the region towards a knowledge economy. “This aims to test and develop platform technologies – groups of technologies which form a base to take the next technological leap – in areas where Queensland has scientific knowledge and emerging industry strength,” Ms. Enoch said.
Queensland is already home to over a third of Australia’s drone industry. Local commercial operators offer a range of services across sectors; including agriculture, mining, oil and gas, and environmental management. “The Palaszczuk Government is currently compiling a 10-year aerospace roadmap and action plan with the goal of making Queensland the hub of the multi-billion dollar Asia-Pacific aerospace industry,” says the announcement.