New agreement to develop NZ’s capability in Unmanned Aircraft & space data tech

On: 29 October 2018

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has signed a new agreement with Europe’s largest aeronautics and space company, Airbus, committing to work together to develop capability in New Zealand’s emerging Unmanned Aircraft (UA) and space data technology sectors.

The Letter of Intent, enabled through MBIE’s Innovative Partnerships programme, sets out a commitment to seek opportunities for Airbus to test and trial its UA technologies in New Zealand, and to work together to support the development and adoption of new and innovative space data technologies and applications.

Airbus has also committed to collaborate with MBIE to deliver a series of innovation challenges in New Zealand that leverage UA and space data technologies. The challenges will seek to generate solutions for real public or private problems, be a catalyst for stimulating innovation and increase New Zealand’s R&D capabilities in these areas.

Airbus is an experienced and credible innovator, and is already building strong connections within New Zealand’s innovation and space ecosystems, including a recent agreement that establishes the Centre of Space Science Technology in Alexandra as the primary provider of Airbus satellite data and products in New Zealand.

Attracting R&D investment and activity in areas like new space and advanced aviation technologies are key priorities for Innovative Partnerships as there is huge potential for New Zealand to be at the forefront of these rapidly developing sectors.

The Letter of Intent is another success for Innovative Partnerships. Earlier this year, both Zephyr Airworks and LeoLabs credited the programme as part of the reason they are undertaking R&D in New Zealand.

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