NT launches draft Drone Industry Strategy, Drone Innovation Challenge

Wednesday, 20 March, 2024

NT launches draft Drone Industry Strategy, Drone Innovation Challenge

The drone industry has experienced significant growth over recent years, with the global market estimated to be worth US$30 billion in 2022. Now, Northern Territory residents are invited to have their say on a new draft strategy designed to advance the growth of the industry locally.

The Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission’s final report identifies drones as one of the emerging digital technologies that will play an important role in driving economic growth and job creation. It finds that a mature drone industry has the potential to increase productivity and economic participation across all sectors and presents significant opportunities in regional and remote areas of the Territory.

The draft Northern Territory Drone Industry Strategy sets out a framework to drive the development of drone technologies to enhance traditional industries, deliver economic benefits and transform service delivery. Developed following extensive internal and external consultation, the draft strategy provides a whole-of-government and industry framework across four focus areas:

  • Industry growth — work with industry to sustainably grow the NT drone industry.
  • Education, training and workforce development — work with research and educational organisations to develop a skilled workforce required for the NT drone industry.
  • Regulation and government settings — work with all levels of government to establish a regulatory environment that enables drone industry growth.
  • Community and recreation — work with the public to increase awareness of and recreational use of drones.

Territorians, business and industry are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft strategy via the Have Your Say website, as input is essential to inform future development of the sector. Consultation is open until 5 pm on 31 March.

Meanwhile, the Northern Territory Government has launched the Drone Innovation Challenge as part of its Innovation Challenges Program, designed to accelerate the development of a more competitive, innovation-driven economy in the Territory and to strengthen collaboration. Challenge participants — including businesses, investors, training providers and industry stakeholders — are invited to design a proposal for the Drone Technology Innovation Cluster to facilitate the development of drone technology and associated industries in the Territory.

Organisations interested in participating are encouraged to build consortiums to develop their proposals, which will be judged based on which concept offers the most value for the Territory. The winning consortium will be able to negotiate a contract with the NT Government for the procurement of the proposal and will also receive $100,000 in seed funding.

For more information and to register your interest, visit the Challenge website before 2 April.

Image credit: iStock.com/mailfor

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