The German developer, manufacturer and operator of unmanned delivery drones Wingcopter has joined forces with the Flying Labs Network as a technology partner to improve supply chains through locally led cargo drone projects, and to equip local talent with the skills to operate Wingcopter’s unmanned systems in long-range drone applications, including beyond visual line of sight.
The Flying Labs Network strengthens local expertise in the use of drones, robotics, data and AI for positive social change in more than 30 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and beyond.
The partnership enables Flying Labs around the world to directly access Wingcopter’s delivery drone expertise and to acquire Wingcopter drones at a discounted price. WeRobotics supports the Flying Labs through joint trainings and joint projects.
Andi Fisanich, Wingcopter’s head of humanitarian programs, said, “The partnership with the Flying Labs Network fits perfectly in our vision to create efficient and sustainable drone solutions to improve and save lives everywhere. It is impressive what the Flying Labs have built up, with support from the WeRobotics team, cultivating local skills and capacities through access to new technologies, education, and job opportunities.
“I truly believe that to strengthen supply chains with drones, it requires an active and supportive ecosystem that knows and involves their local communities. Together, we can establish a drone service for developing countries that allows its citizens to take the lead in building out this new industry and directly benefit from it.”
Dr Patrick Meier, co-founder and executive director of WeRobotics, said, “We’re very pleased to welcome Wingcopter to the Flying Labs Network given their strong commitment to local leadership. This commitment explains why several Flying Labs have already reached out to Wingcopter (and vice versa) to explore collaboration opportunities. We look forward to seeing Flying Labs engage in public health projects by leading the operation of Wingcopter drones in their own countries.”
Wingcopter is currently implementing a drone delivery network in Malawi to strengthen local healthcare supply chains together with UNICEF and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Within the project, called Drone + Data Aid, the company cooperates with the African Drone and Data Academy to train youth from across the continent in drone operations.
In other parts of the world, Wingcopter is preparing for safe and efficient on-demand delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to remote areas by drone, building on experience from earlier vaccine and medical delivery projects, which took place in locations including Vanuatu, Ireland and Tanzania.