County Durham, in the North East of the UK, has joined the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative, part of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), supported by the European Commission.
Participation in the UAM Initiative comes under the banner of the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence, managed by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, and supported by the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult.
As a Fellow Region of the UAM Initiative, County Durham, will engage with public and private sector organisations at a regional and national level to promote the development of innovative solutions to urban mobility challenges by the drone, transport and urban planning communities.
Catherine Johns, innovation director of Business Durham, commented: “The region has already established itself as an important centre for the drone sector which is making a real difference across many industries, such as emergency services, environment and infrastructure, construction, and logistics.
“Joining the UAM Initiative fits perfectly with our recently launched Situational Awareness Information National Technology Service (SAINTS), which brings together experts from business, universities and the public sector who will use artificial intelligence to combine travel, business and satellite data to come up with ways to solve some of the country’s most pressing challenges – from traffic congestion to UK border security issues. We now have a superb opportunity to build on that and play a pioneering role on the international stage.”
Nesta, the global innovation foundation, is supporting this activity as the UK Ambassador for the UAM initiative. Through the Flying High project, Nesta has worked with cities across England to investigate potential ways that drones can be used to provide social benefit and public services, guided by citizen engagement.