Endeva seeks solutions to African drone policy issues

The Inclusive Innovation 2030 (ii2030) programme is calling for applications for solutions on how Africa can create and adopt policies that enhance the sustainable growth of the industry on the continent.

Organised by German organisation Endeva and with a special emphasis on Africa this year, the ii2030 is a problem-solving initiative that encourages participants to find solutions to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the collaborative efforts among innovators that include corporates, start-ups, the public sector, non-government organisations and science.

With solutions developed in tracks around tech-based opportunities, focus this year is on Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Remote Sensing for Artificial Intelligence in Critical Infrastructure; and A Future-fit, Tech-enabled Drone Policy.

“This year it is a fully virtual #Africa4Future special edition,” said Endeva in a statement. “As always, we will explore how technology can help us achieve the SDGs more effectively. Together with a select group of participants we will develop systemic solutions and expect to implement the ideas we develop.”

This year’s edition is funded by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and will be implemented in collaboration with Airbus BizLab, UP42 and Co-creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUB).

In the drone track, which is returning for its second run after the inaugural Drones Doing Good (DDG) programme in 2017, the organisers are looking for solutions to how drones can be used safely to offer innovations like widespread physical connectivity to remote areas, and be a catalyst for growth and prosperity while supporting the SDGs by driving local innovation, manufacturing and job creation.

Said the organiser; “The drone industry has the potential to make a substantial contribution in the response to pandemics like COVID-19. Drone medical deliveries of test and medical spare parts as well as sample collection could have a tremendous impact in overcoming the infrastructure shortcomings which limit healthcare systems in Africa.

“However, to truly leverage the potential of drones it is imperative to create a user-friendly, transparent and comprehensive regulation for safe flying. Once this policy incentive has been created, drones can be leveraged as a technology used in African countries to contribute to a range of use cases from achieving the SDGs to responding to pandemics and natural disaster relief efforts.”

The track is open to applications from industry players like drone start-ups, Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) companies and venture capitalists looking to invest in drone technology, who will brainstorm on finding solutions to find a smart, long-term Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone policy that is collaboratively created and enhanced by technology.

Once agreed upon, the policy will be pilot tested in selected countries.

Consultations have already started, with an online session set for this afternoon, (September 15, 2020) and another one scheduled for the end of October first and second. The end of October (27-29) will see applicants coming to create a common disruptive solution, which will be pitched to funders in November. The implementation stage will follow after that.

Endeva launched ii2030 in 2017, to find technological solutions to problems in healthcare, energy, agriculture, finance and mobility; with the Drone Doing Good Alliance – a network of partners that explore how drone technology can accelerate the achievement of the SDGs – being adopted as one of the outcomes.

The DDG scored its first success last year when it oversaw Nigerian company LifeBank becoming the first African-led company to execute bidirectional BVLOS flights for healthcare logistics.

Now, the organisers are looking to build on this early success by lobbying for friendly drone policies and regulations, affordable drone training opportunities, as well as “creating an efficient drone network that is multifunctional, modular and could make it much easier for local entrepreneurs to attach a wide range of solutions to an existing network.

“This would unlock an infinite range of opportunities to improve the outcomes of low-income consumers.”

Based in Berlin, Endeva is an independent management consulting organisation whose mission is to inspire and enable enterprise solutions for development challenges. They work closely with partners from all sectors, including development agencies, foundations and universities to build, share and apply knowledge about how to develop and implement inclusive business models.

Interested organisations can apply here


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