UK to open ‘Phoenix I’ drone test and development site involving public and private partners in Liverpool

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) plans to open a ‘Test and Development Area’ in partnership with Drone Major Group, a drone consultancy company, with the involvement several regional partners. Phoenix I aims to deliver commercially viable, scalable and environmentally sustainable drone services across all environments and sectors including surface, underwater, air and space, says a joint press release.

A roadmap has been created which identifies key themes and outlines a pathway to develop operational drone capabilities in the fields of urban logistics, the environment, security, maritime logistics, port & maritime, and the wider community. The project currently comprises 10 initiatives addressing these sectors across the UK, based around a common operational model and data analysis.

Project participants include Peel Ports Group, LogisticsUK, SP Energy Networks, Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.

The programme aims to stimulate Liverpool City Region’s inward investment opportunities, while enhancing the region’s global recognition as a hub for technological innovation. The UK government granted Liverpool City Freeport status in March 2021.

Digital infrastructure and knowledge resources in the Liverpool City Region include the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Autonomous Systems Technology (CAST), Liverpool Institute for Sustainable Coasts and Oceans (LISCO) and Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), and the drone research group at Liverpool John Moores University.

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram of the Liverpool City Region said“The Liverpool City Region is a digital powerhouse. We have the world class infrastructure, expertise and ambition to be leaders of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s fantastic to see the Drone Major Group recognising that by choosing to open their test and development area here.”

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