High Tech Drones and Sensors – Focus of Industry in East Netherlands
SPECTORS, an EU funded, four year long INTERREG V-A innovation program stands for “Sensor Products for Enterprises Creating Technological Opportunities in airborne Remote Sensing”. In SPECTORS, twenty Dutch and German SMEs are working together to develop and test innovative remote-sensing products. These companies, all located along the Dutch-German border region, include Clear Flight Solutions, Aerovision and GeoInfoSolutions.
Companies and governments are investing some € 9 million in SPECTORS, with the goal of creating forty new jobs, as well as maintaining 840 currently existing jobs. The goal of the program is to develop for applications such technologies as a laser and radar positioning system for indoor and outdoor navigation, 3-D scanners for geographic measurement, radar for monitoring traffic flows at airports and traffic intersections, as well as developing systems that allow unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft (drones) to perform physical tasks in their environment. An example of the latter is transporting objects. In addition, it is expected that a ‘big data’ system will be built which will allow smart usage of the enormous amount of data collected by these sensors.
The companies involved with the project will also be working closely with educational and research institutes from the region, including the universities of Wageningen, Twente and the Hochschüle Rhein-Waal. The long term goal is to give a boost to the collective power of innovation between the cooperative partners in the area of high-tech systems and materials in the border region.
Oost NL is involved with the SPECTORS program by coordinating the various business development activities among the business partners, so that a clear business case can be demonstrated to support the program. The necessary testing activities will be conducted by the railway support and maintenance company ProRail at Space53, the newly launched test center for drones at the former military airfield Twente.
SPECTORS is co-developed by Oost NL within the framework of the cooperation in the border area of the Netherlands and Germany through the EU’s INTERREG 5a. The companies will be providing the resources for manpower, but will receive some financial support from the EU program, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel and the German government.