Europe is in the midst of a UAS revolution, with business on the upswing and the European Union moving to rationalize its rules and regulations for drone operations continent-wide.

The advances in the industry follow familiar patterns, ABI’s Research Director for Robotics, Dan Kara said.

The “larger countries with larger economies dominate the European UAS market, “ABI’s Research Director for Robotics, Dan Kara said. These are the same nations that have the most skilled work forces and the best research and funding resources, he told Inside Unmanned Systems.

Switzerland is the exception that proves the rule. It is home to some of the continent’s largest, most successful and most interesting drone manufacturers and service providers including senseFly, Pix4D, SwissDrones and Flyability. The country’s long history of precision engineering and world-leading expertise in the measurement and materials sciences are sure to have given the mountainous micro-nation a headstart in the micro-technologies of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Matt Wade, Marcomms Manager at senseFly Ltd., in Lausanne, cites two concrete reasons to explainthe drone monster that is little Switzerland.

“Two of our universities—EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale) in Lausanne and ETH (the Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich—have cutting-edge robotics labs,” he said, “and the start-up environment is pretty friendly, with some good support programs, incubators, etc.”

Whatever the reason, Kara said, in the drone market, “the Swiss are exceptional.”

Some insight into what will be a US$100M+ market in 2016. Interesting to see that the same formula works in Europe as works here – a tight alliance with universities, government support and VC investment.



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