AeroVinci, a TU Delft spin-off, is developing ‘DroneDock’ technology, which allows drones to take-off, land, process data, charge and perform other specialised operations fully autonomously. Until recently, drones could only be operated by drone pilots, but this new technology removes the need for a human operator. This has major financial advantages as well as other benefits.
“We’re extremely happy with this financial boost. It’s a sign that investors share our vision of making the large-scale deployment of drones affordable by fully automating drone technology.”
~ Jochem Wieringa of AeroVinci ~
Agriculture is one of the main sectors where this technology is applied. Consider farmers, for instance, whose land is surveyed from the air and who then automatically receive advice on the intelligent use of irrigation, fertilisers and pesticides. This can ensure higher yields and lower costs per hectare.
Accelerate the market expansion of drones
UNIIQ is investing in AeroVinci because of the enormous potential of DroneDock technology. “Drones represent a huge, untapped market, but the problem is that a human pilot is still needed for each drone,” explains Liduina Hammer, Fund Manager at UNIIQ. “However, AeroVinci’s technology removes the need for human intervention, which will accelerate the market expansion of drones. Compare it to the early days of the telephone, when all the calls had to be manually connected from a central station. It was only after this process was automated, that the telephony market could really grow.”
“TU Delft is a global frontrunner in drone innovation technology,” says Paul Althuis, Managing Director of Delft Enterprises. “It’s wonderful to see technology that was incubated in our university making its way into successful applications such as those developed by AeroVinci.” Althuis adds, “This also strengthens TU Delft’s position as a technological leader in the field of drones, so we are very happy to invest in it.”
UNIIQ is a € 22 million investment fund focused on the proof-of-concept phase. UNIIQ helps entrepreneurs in the province of South Holland bring their unique innovation to market faster. UNIIQ offers entrepreneurs the seed money to realize their plans, and bridges the riskiest phase from concept to promising business.
A consortium, including Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and the regional development agency InnovationQuarter, created the fund. UNIIQ is made possible by the European Union, the Province of Zuid-Holland and the municipalities of Rotterdam, The Hague and Leiden.