Europe’s strongest test hub for advanced drone technology

Serious plans are underway for a new regional Danish lighthouse project within drones and robotics. NextGen Robotics will bring together Funen’s unique competencies within robotics, drones and unmanned sea vessels to develop the next generation of robots and autonomous high technology. UAS Denmark Test Center and HCA Airport is part of NextGen Robotics that has just registered an application for the Danish Agency for Trade and Industry.

Robots, drones and autonomous ships will soon manufacture wind turbines and sailing vessels as well as transporting blood samples. NextGen Robotics is Funen’s new business project lighthouse, which, with more than 65 partners and a budget exceeding DKK 200 million, is ready to boost Denmark’s robot and drone development.

The drone area has particularly developed rapidly over the past 10 years, and the technology is today used to a great extent within a number of industries and for various purposes. However, the testing of drones is troublesome and time consuming for companies and often inconvenient to those that must evade in the airspace.

With NextGen Robotics, UAS Denmark Test Center, HCA Airport and an array of recognised partners will take the drone test hub at the airport to a new level. New improved test infrastructure and high-tech test equipment will pave the way for faster development and more advanced demonstration projects, where the technology must be compression tested under harsher conditions and for more purposes than previously.

Massive corporate support

“With this project, UAS Denmark Test Center and HCA Airport will – in collaboration with our partners – accelerate the development of the drone industry and support the research as well as the companies’ efforts to develop the safety and performance of the drones – including the systems and technologies that will support the operation of the future airspace,” Michael Larsen, Head of UAS Denmark Test Center, says.

Among the companies, there is great support for the Funen robot revolution. More than 50 companies either support or are partners in the consortium, including the University of Southern Denmark, Naviair, Quadsat and Lorenz Technology – all of which are involved on the drone front. In addition to these partners, UAS Denmark Test Center has also received statements of support from 20 public and private organisations.

And the direction is set: The vision for Funen is to become a global epicentre for the testing and development of the high-tech industry of the future, and that Denmark is mapped as a green and competitive industrial nation in future. Therefore the partners and the four sub-consortia behind NextGen Robotics has just registered an application to the Danish Agency for Trade and Industry.

From the airport on North Funen to the South Funen Archipelago, NextGen Robotics will strengthen the development and promote the export of robots and autonomous high technology; UAS Denmark Test Center in HCA Airport is to expand with advanced test facilities, South Funen and Ærø will constitute the hub for MARLOG, SIMAC and the partners’ development of autonomy for coastal sustainable ship operations, and Odense Robotics will with its concept, “house of robotics” make an international showcase for Denmark as a robot nation.


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