The Queensland Government will commit $1 million to the development of drone technology.
Announced this week by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the scheme is a partnership between government, The Boeing Company, Insitu Pacific, Telstra, and Shell’s natural gas QGC project.
The funding, delivered by the state’s innovation platform Advance Queensland, will assist startups and SMEs as well as create up to ‘100 new aerospace jobs’.
The focus of the project will be to explore the possibilities of drone technology and how it might be adopted across numerous sectors including mining, energy, telecommunications, and search and rescue.
Already, cane growers in the state are experimenting with remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) as a means to innovate farm management and gather data.
The funding intends to extend the capabilities of RPAS technology, including improved safety, and better data analytics.
“The project aims to capitalise on the capabilities inherent in drones,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Drone technology has the capability of introducing greater efficiencies in a range of Queensland industries, and we want to make sure our state develops an industry that delivered jobs as part of this process.”
Palaszczuk’s government hopes to benefit in recognition of two significant facts: that drone technology is experiencing rapid global growth and more than a third of Australia’s RPAS companies are located in Queensland.
Right now, the global market for drone technology has an estimated value of US$10.1 billion and by 2020 that figure is expected to climb to $14.9 billion.
Palaszczuk made it clear that the state government had ambitions to build out Queensland’s tech sector.
The Premier said they are working on a ten-year action plan, with an ultimate goal of making the state the aerospace hub for the Asia-Pacific region.
The $405 million Advance Queensland initiative was the pathway, the government says for this ‘knowledge-based’ economy.
State Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said that the government will announce further projects through the Advance Queensland technology program, funded at $10 million, with an eye on job creation in the tech sector.