The Netherlands is successfully creating an ecosystem for the robotics and unmanned vehicles industries. Now, the world’s largest drone manufacturer DJI will train Dutch firemen and paramedics at a new drone flight school.
DJI has formed the agreement with Space53, a public-private partnership for developing the drone industry in Enschede. The agreement calls for the two entities to develop public safety projects that use drone technology. As a first step, they will collaborate on the development of a training program for emergency personnel to “develop standard procedures, geared towards the deployment of drones during security operations.”
A former airport will be used as the training base. NLTimes reports that city alderman Patrick Welman says that the site is a unique fit for the new school. “The rules around drones are very complicated. So a former airport is very interesting, because it is a controllable environment with all the right facilities.”
In addition to the former airport facility, Space53 says that the area itself has a lot to offer the drone industry. “DJI has chosen Space53 due to Twente’s unique eco system: a combination of innovative entrepreneurs in the field of unmanned systems, specific technological knowledge and experience, plenty of space for experimentation, unique facilities and partnerships with knowledge institutes and security services, such as the Twente Fire Department,” says Space53. “DJI is not our first international partner. Last autumn, telecom company Nokia allied itself with us to develop a new air traffic system for the integration of manned and unmanned aviation.”
Locals hope that bringing DJI to the area will create more jobs: Welman told NLTimes that the program had already created dozens of positions. For DJI, investing in the training of emergency personnel – an expanding segment for drones – is good for business as well as the communities they serve.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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