Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 16 April 2018 – From 10-12 April, Amsterdam was the setting for Commercial UAV Expo Europe, the pan-European trade fair and conference for professionals integrating and operating drones for commercial applications.
The event counted 685 visitors—an increase of 33% over last year’s inaugural event—from 43 countries. More than 50 exhibiting companies showcased best-in-class drone solutions for highly technical applications, allowing attendees to qualify and compare the newest airframes, software and services. The event took place at the RAI Amsterdam, a hub for the drone market in Europe.
Lisa Murray, Group Director at Diversified Communications, organizer of Commercial UAV Expo Europe, said, “In developing Commercial UAV Expo Europe, we wanted to bring together the commercial drone ecosystem from throughout Europe to advance this ground-breaking technology. The event had all the elements to accomplish this objective: critical education, the newest technology, and the right mix of people from commercial operations, government and regulatory bodies, academic institutions and vendors. It’s gratifying to hear from our constituents that the event is serving a critical need in the marketplace.”
Hendrick Bokecker, of Drone Industry Insights in Germany, agreed. “Combining expert knowledge with companies in the whole drone ecosystem is very important. You can exchange information and have great discussions here. The crowd here is at a very professional level coming from all industries including the energy sector and the surveying sector. They bring with them high knowledge.”
The event kicked off Tuesday 10 April with vendor-delivered “Product Previews.” These brief presentations gave vendors the chance to share their latest innovations and releases with attendees and to invite them to learn more about their products and services on the exhibit floor. The presentations were followed by a packed session on keeping a drone program in-house versus outsourcing it, including pros and cons of each approach. A “Welcome Happy Hour” on the exhibit floor followed, giving attendees a first glimpse at the technology showcased.
Keith Tracey, a UAV Pilot for Coastway Surveys in Ireland, said “Commercial UAV Expo Europe has everyone we wanted to see in one place. We’ve seen all of the major hitters – they’re here, showing their wares. It’s great to see all of the different technology and where it’s going.”
Wednesday 11 April started with welcome remarks by Ms. Murray. She then introduced Paul Riemens, CEO/Chairman of the Executive Board at RAI Amsterdam, who articulated his team’s vision for making Amsterdam the Drone Hub of Europe through hosting Commercial UAV Expo Europe and by producing Amsterdam Drone Week 26-30 November 2018 during which EASA’s High Level Conference on Drones will take place.
“Commercial UAV Expo Europe and Diversified Communications are very important components in what we’re trying to achieve in Amsterdam,” said Mr. Riemens. “I’m thrilled at having Commercial UAV Expo Europe in Amsterdam because it’s the beginning of what we want to achieve which is an Amsterdam Drone Hub in order to bring this industry together.”
Following the welcome remarks four drone visionaries delivered Keynote addresses:
- Jesse Kallman, Airbus Aerial, “The Future of Aerial Data: Leveraging Data from the Sky”
- Kay Wackwitz, Drone Industry Insights, “Securing the Digital Transformation: The Layer-Cake of Drone Data Protection”
- Lorenz Meier, PX4, Auterion, “Drones in the Connected Ecosystem: The Coming Transformation”
- Alain Siebert, SESAR Joint Undertaking, “Update from SESAR: U-Space and EU Roadmap”
More education followed, including sessions on Newest Technologies, Regulatory Update & U-Space Developments, and Safety & Risk Management. Breakout sessions included Infrastructure & Inspection, Planning for Smart Cities, Energy Industry, Survey & Mapping, Construction & Aggregates, Precision Agriculture, and Security, Law Enforcement, Emergency Response & SAR.
Mark Eyckmans, Innovation and Digital Manager at Belgium’s Engie, said, “For me, Commercial UAV Expo is quite unique for two reasons. First, you have a cluster of so much knowledge that would take much more time if you had to find it one by one. And second is networking. Thanks to the network, the learning curve is much faster. There is enough connectivity here; the next step is working out the dreams that we have, and there we count on the connections we have to realize them.”
An Energy & Utility Roundtable for industry executives addressed the challenges of using UAVs; including data integration, sensors and airframes, enterprise synchronization, and more.
The Drone Hero Awards, organized by the European Drone Cluster EUKA, celebrated innovation in the drone space; with 19 contestants from 13 countries competing for recognition from a jury of UAS leaders. After an intense deliberation, the international jury picked three winners for the prestigious Drone Hero Europe awards. Said EUKA’s Mark Vanlook, the Jury Chair “Any company or organization with an innovative idea with drone tech or a sound drone business case could participate in this unique contest. It wasn’t an easy decision, because all of the finalists were very good.”
In the end, the winners were: GEORESEARCH from Austria (Start-up Drone Hero), GMP Defense from Poland (International Drone Hero) and Alphalink from Germany (Innovative Drone Hero). Dronesbench was awarded the Public Drone Hero, garnering the most votes in public voting. See the winners’ videos and the short summary of their concepts here: https://www.dronecommunity.biz/drone-hero-europe/winners-2018/.
Full event information can be found at www.expouav.com/europe, with event recaps at www.expouav.com/news. Commercial UAV Expo Europe is presented by Commercial UAV News, a news site and newsletter that delivers compelling news about all aspects of the commercial UAV industry. Subscriptions are available here.
Commercial UAV Expo Europe was launched following the success of its American counterpart. Launched in the United States in 2015, Commercial UAV Expo Americas received rave reviews from the start. Entering its fourth US edition October 1-3, 2018 at the Westgate in Las Vegas, the event is expected to draw 3,000 attendees and 200 booths on the exhibit floor.
Commercial UAV Expo Europe is organized by Diversified Communications, a top global trade show and conference organizer, operating in 14 industries from offices around the world. Diversified Communications had over 15 years’ experience producing world-renowned events for precision-measurement professionals, including Commercial UAV Expo Americas, SPAR 3D Conference & Expo and International LiDAR Mapping Forum. Content – delivered in-person and online – gives practitioners tools and information to make better business decisions.
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