Removing barriers to the uptake of innovative Unmanned Aerial Systems in the EU

Preston City Council and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are collaborating on the Aerial Uptake project.

This EU Interreg Europe funded project aims to better understand barriers to drone technology and how to remove them to help foster economic growth and wider social benefits.

The aims of Aerial Uptake

Aerial Uptake aims to remove barriers that hinder the successful application of innovative drone technology across the European Union. While drone applications have promising potential in the fields of public safety, logistics and agriculture, a lacking European level playing field and limited knowledge and public acceptance of this emerging technology call for improved regional development policies to overcome these barriers.

Aerial Uptake officially started on 1 August 2019, and its first phase will run for two years.

The Preston partners join a number of European partners consisting of municipalities, regional governments and research institutes:

  • Province of Overijssel and City of Enschede (The Netherlands)
  • Government of Catalonia and I2CAT (Spain)
  • City of Osijek (Croatia)
  • Rzeszow Regional Development Agency (Poland)
  • Preston City Council
  • University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom)
  • RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

The project in Preston

In Preston, the project will be led by UCLan's Civic Drone Centre - a collaboration between the university's new £30 million Engineering Innovation Centre and the Media Innovation Studio research group - and Preston City Council.

The main objective of the project is to improve the performance of regional development policies and programmes by strengthening their contribution to the delivery of new technologies and applications of unmanned aerial systems (often referred to as drones) for civil and commercial usage.

The project aims to reach this objective through interregional learning activities.

The collaboration will focus on three thematic fields. Firstly, fostering innovation through facilitative measures for experimenting, testing and demonstrating novel UAS technologies.

Secondly, promoting market uptake through enhanced quadruple helix collaboration, networking and clustering.

Lastly, improving societal acceptance by addressing ethical, legal and social concerns, raising public demand and due consideration of potential social impacts and benefits.

More information about the project can be found on the Aerial Uptake website.

Aerial Uptake is funded by the EU through its Interreg programme  (1.37m Euros ERDF). 

Where to learn more about the project

The project is continuing during COVID-19 and you can read the latest news about the project on the Aerial Uptake website.

You can also follow news of the Aerial Uptake project on social media and sign up for the newsletter from the link below:

Sign up for the Aerial Uptake newsletter