First drone and aerospace companies move into Unmanned Valley, the Netherlands

Unmanned Valley – the field lab for sensor-based technologies located at the former Valkenburg naval air base in Katwijk, the Netherlands – has welcomed the first companies, all active in the field of aerospace, drones and sensors. This represents an important step towards the development of a fully-fledged ecosystem for drones and other sensor-based innovations, and further strengthens the aerospace sector in the Netherlands, according to the Unmanned Valley press release.

Aerialtronics, Deck180, Drone Flight Company, Dutch Drone Academy, Elkay International (Europe) and Marshall Netherlands are the first companies to have already moved in. Within a few months, Atmos, Drone Light Labs and will also relocate (parts of) their activities to the field lab, which offers in- and outdoor facilities for companies and knowledge institutes to develop, test and implement new sensor-based solutions.

Unmanned Valley is a 3000m2 redevelopment of the former naval air base’s workshop ‘Building 356’ in Katwijk, a coastal town located 16 kilometers north of The Hague. In a next phase, the Central Government Real Estate Agency (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf) is expected to redevelop an additional 1700m2 of space to accommodate a mix of startups and scale-ups, mature companies and knowledge institutions.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in testing activities over the past months, but with the relocation of these first companies, Unmanned Valley really comes to life”, says Theo de Vries, program manager at Unmanned Valley. “Drones often only make headlines as a threat to air traffic or as a pizza delivery service. These companies show that things are different in reality and that the economic and social potential for the Netherlands can be enormous.”

“Unmanned Valley has all the potential to develop into an international hotspot for unmanned and sensor-related activities. Innovative companies are looking for a well-developed ecosystem, not just a suitable office location. They want access to the right networks, technologies and talent”, says Rinke Zonneveld, director of the regional economic development agency InnovationQuarter.

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