UK research arm announces first partners for the Future of Air Mobility Accelerator programme

The UK Government’s Connected Places Catapult research incubator has selected 11 companies to join the first cohort of its Future of Air Mobility Accelerator programme.

In partnership with UK Research and Innovation’s Future Flight Challenge, the five-month programme is focused on scaling disruptive technologies in areas of Data Driven Aviation, Smart Airports and Advanced Air Mobility.

Alongside access to funding for live trials and demonstrations the 11 selected small and medium-sized enterprises will receive support from a consortium of industry partners, academic institutions and regulatory bodies which include Supernal, GKN Aerospace, UK Civil Aviation Authority, Heathrow Airport, AGS Airports, BSI, Cranfield University and Coventry University.

The support from the consortium will act as a catalyst to accelerating disruptive products and services to market, alongside accelerating commercial growth for SMEs transforming the future of air mobility.

“Developing the Advanced Air Mobility ecosystem – from the technology to critical infrastructure networks and public acceptance – requires thoughtful and strategic coordination from a variety of public and private stakeholders,” said Jaiwon Shin, Chief Executive Officer of Supernal and President of Hyundai Motor Group. “We are pleased to be part of the Future of Air Mobility Accelerator programme and look forward to working with the participants as they explore and advance important solutions that address market entry challenges.”

Heathrow’s Director of Operations, Kathryn Leahy, said:  “We’re thrilled to be working with these SMEs and our industry partners to trial new, sustainable and innovative technologies that will help strengthen the UK’s world-class aviation sector, especially as it recovers from the impacts of the pandemic. We look forward to seeing these concepts brought to life and hope to be able to implement some of this technology on our own airfield in the future.”

Connected Places Catapult is delivering the programme in partnership with Plus X who will support the SMEs through a bespoke commercial development programme tailored to their requirements.

The SMEs that have been selected for five-month programme are:

  • Altitude Angel provide powerful Unified Traffic Management (UTM) capabilities, integrating drones and UAVs with other air users, at scale with total safety.
  • Commonplace’s community engagement platform enables their customers to collect, understand and act on public sentiment, enabling more informed decision making.
  • DM-AirTech supports the safe and efficient deployment of Advanced Air Mobility by bringing application-specific meteorological services to market.
  • Emu Analytics’ geospatial analytics and visualisation software enables their clients to effortlessly process, analyse and visualise big, fast and real-time geospatial data.
  • Neuron offers a community-driven ground-based surveillance approach to create a Shared Airspace Network for all users, alongside industry-leading [governance and operational] consultancy services.
  • OrxaGrid supports the global drive towards sustainability through their smart grid energy optimisation platform, leveraging sensor data and unique energy optimisation algorithms.
  • R4DAR Technologies is on a mission to improve safety and effectiveness of autonomous systems through the provision of localised high-fidelity and resilient spatial awareness data.
  • SeeTrue AI is automating the security screening process with its artificial intelligence solution, connecting to existing X-Ray and CT machines, increasing passenger throughputs in airports around the world.
  • Sightec is a Visual Situational Awareness system for safe autonomous flights, based on computer vision and artificial intelligence technologies.
  • TEKTowr has created SIMTWIN, a digital twin of the airspace and unmanned traffic management, creating a virtual collaborative space for emerging UAM disruptors to accelerate the planning process.
  • Westfield Technology Group is a leading autonomous technology provider, developing the future of airside autonomous vehicles for transportation, safety and operations.

The Future Flight Challenge is a GBP300 million programme designed to secure the UK’s position at the front of the third revolution in aviation to develop greener, more flexible ways to fly.

The Challenge aims to transform how to connect people, deliver goods and provide services by speeding up the acceptance of these innovative ways and bringing them into use safely and practically. By combining control and regulation with infrastructure and aircraft systems to create new operating models the Challenge is creating the aviation system of the future.

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