With an industry predicted to be worth US$42.8B by 2025, drones continue to transform several industries, from medical and agriculture to transport and construction. Now, there is a unifying global awards scheme recognizing best practice in drone work. Airwards is a not-for-profit awards platform that champions the breadth of pioneering work accomplished with drones.
A first digital awards scheme of its kind to recognize the wide variety of positive drone use cases, submissions to Airwards are open until mid-March 2021, with winners announced in May. The award categories span a number of uses and sectors, including Technology, Operations, Supporting Services, specific Industries / Fields and Giving Back, with a People’s Choice category voted for by the public. Airwards will be looking for outstanding examples where drones are leading the way in innovation, responsibility, and impactful real-world solutions.
Mission to advance the drone industry
Airwards Founder, Richard Nichols, said: “We’re on a mission to advance the drone industry by championing the broad range of positive drone use cases from across the globe. 2020 proved a pivotal moment for the drone industry, so we believe the time is now for companies to come together and share their impactful drone work.
“Airwards was established not only to bring the drone community together in one place, encouraging cross-industry collaboration, but also to raise awareness of positive drone uses with the wider public – ultimately working towards greater public acceptance of drones. We’re really looking forward to finding some incredible drone projects in our inaugural year and showcasing the inspiring stories behind them.”
Airwards Categories include supporting services
Airwards is open to a range of individuals and companies, including drone specialists transforming an industry, startups using drone technology for creative solutions, and large corporations driving innovation. Awards are grouped by discipline, with entries to the ‘Technology’, ‘Operations’, ‘Supporting Services’ and ‘Industry / Field’ categories starting from £49 for startups. ‘Giving Back’ is free to enter and ‘People’s Choice’ is by nomination-only and voted for by the public.
Entrants must successfully meet the Airwards eligibility to be able to enter, which includes relevant permits and licenses for the project in the country of origin. Amongst others, the three main criteria the Airwards judges will be looking for, are:
- Innovative: Promoting pioneering ideas successfully challenging what a drone is / can be
- Responsible: Recognizing the key aspect of safety in every drone flight to advocate legitimate behavior as a standard best practice
- Real-world: Asking the question: ‘How are drones making a difference?’ by demonstrating quantifiable outcomes and tangible solutions
Airwards launched in 2020 in association with ARPAS-UK, the not-for-profit trade association for the UK drone industry. Judges will be revealed in due course. Entrants will have from until 12 March 2021, with winners announced late May 2021.
An example for innovative drone technology could be Drone Rescue Systems’ intelligent parachute systems that deploy themselves in an emergency and bring a damaged drone safely to the ground.