WINGCOPTER GmbH wins with “Deliver Future” project | FAIRFLEET from Munich named most innovative startup



Frankfurt/Karlsruhe, 17 October 2018

The eagerly awaited presentation of the 2nd DRONE PIONEER AWARD took place on the morning of 17 October 2018 during the INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS part of INTERGEO. The award recognises drone-based solutions that tackle the global goals set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030. 


By doing so, it aims to encourage and stimulate public debate about new possibilities for using drones and the associated challenges – at both national and international level. 


The entries were assessed by an eminent panel of judges consisting of Julia Eckey (Joschka Fischer Company), Dr. Marc Thom (SONY), Amit Verma (Airbus Aerial), Jannis Töpfer (McKinsey & Company) and Manuel Marx (GIZ, German Agency for International Cooperation). Addressing a packed IASEXPO forum, Marx was full of praise for the diversity of entries and the huge potential social impact of commercial drones. He said drones were true all-rounders, especially in dealing with the complex problems in GIZ partner countries.

Jannis Töpfer from McKinsey & Company was also impressed by the wide range of submissions. He underlined the added value that drones can deliver – in economic terms and even more so by making good things happen.

Amit Verma from Airbus stressed how difficult he had found it even to decide on the three finalists. Both the standard of the technologies presented and their sheer variety had, he said, made it very hard to choose. 


The judges shortlisted the three finalists for the DRONE PIONEER AWARD in advance from the numerous projects put forward. 


The winner of the DRONE PIONEER AWARD 2018 and the € 5,000 prize – sponsored by the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) – is WINGCOPTER GmbH’s “Deliver Future” project. The Darmstadt-based company has set itself the goal of improving people’s lives worldwide with beneficial civil drone applications. 

The “Deliver Future” project aims to use drones to help revolutionise the transportation of medical supplies to remote areas. In many regions of Africa, for example, healthcare logistics – especially getting medical supplies to rural hospitals and pharmacies – can be extremely challenging. 

As part of the project, a six-month trial was conducted in collaboration with DHL and GIZ. Drones were used to deliver medicines and blood samples to an island in Lake Victoria, spending a total of around 2,000 minutes in the air. The autonomous DHL Paketkopter 4.0 completed the 60-kilometre flight from the mainland to the island in an average of 40 minutes. Travelling overland, it would have taken the supplies over six hours to reach their destination. Blood and laboratory samples can also be transported quickly and safely in this way. Delivery drones not only have the potential to solve the problem of getting medical supplies to their destination. They could also prevent the global spread of viral diseases such as Ebola by enabling prompt action to be taken. 


The judges awarded second place to the “Drones in Agriculture” project entered by DRONESPERHOUR GMBH, a leading supplier of drone services in the tourism industry and the real estate sector. This project aims to combine standard drones with special imaging software to help farmers detect plant diseases, apply targeted treatment and even identify specific pests so as to minimise the impact of pest control measures. 


Third spot went to the “Safe and efficient landmine detection” project submitted by THIRD ELEMENT AVIATION GmbH, which develops highly specialised drone solutions. The company focuses primarily on industrial projects, but also on projects using drones in rescue operations, to tackle oil slicks and to detect landmines. And it was the landmine detection application that was put forward for the award. 


Other valuable and noteworthy projects singled out by the judges came from the INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE, GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSMISSION, WORKSWELL and KONTROL & ROBOT AVIATION. The event was hosted by Michael Wieland, Managing Director of UAV DACH e.V.



The award ceremony during the IASEXPO forum’s Startup Session was just as eagerly anticipated. Six fledgling companies presented their innovative business ideas for drone applications to visitors and investors.


A panel of experts consisting of Kay Wackwitz (Drone Industry Insights, DRONEII), Ulrike Mayr (Frankfurt Business Media), Jannis Töpfer (McKinsey & Company) and Jörg Bartsch (Business Angels Frankfurt) judged the ideas. 


The assessment criteria included factors such as sustainability, innovation prowess, anticipated economic volume, progress made by the project and marketing strategy. 


Innovative solutions for disaster prevention, inspecting industrial plants and streaming data from drone cameras directly to the mobile end devices of recipients such as first-aiders in real time were presented along with innovative and flexible drones that can be equipped with cameras or grippers as required for the relevant application. 


The judges ultimately picked FAIRFLEET, a full-service provider for drones, as the winner of the Startup Session. From consulting and planning to implementation and data processing, FAIRFLEET covers all aspects of commercial drone use from a single source. 


The company has won itself a stand at the IASEXPO part of INTERGEO 2019, which is taking place in Stuttgart from 17 - 19 September 2019. 


Information for startups wishing to apply for the Startup Session 2019 and for companies intending to enter their innovative projects for the DRONE PIONEER AWARD 2019 will be available shortly at https://www.interaerial-solutions.com.

INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS (IASEXPO), consisting of an exhibition, forum & Flight Zone is Europe’s leading platform for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is held in a different location in Germany every year, as part of INTERGEO. The forum deals with current issues from politics, administration, science and industry. The outdoor FlightZone offers live demonstrations of the various flight systems and thus delivers an all-round experience of products and the market. In 2018, the first EUROPEAN DRONE SUMMIT is being held in Frankfurt one day before IASEXPO. With the wealth of potential on offer, IASEXPO highlights the wide range of applications for UAVs and provides a glimpse of future markets. The event will be touring prestigious international trade fair locations in years to come – Stuttgart in 2019 and Berlin in 2020.

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