Robotics

Airwards: Taking UAVs to new heights

21st October 2020
Lanna Cooper

With over a hundred years’ heritage and an industry predicted to be worth $42.8bn by 2025, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) continue to push boundaries and transform industries for the better. And now, there is a unifying global accreditation scheme recognising best practice drone work. Introducing Airwards: an industry-first, panoptic awards platform and not-for-profit which champions the pioneering, impactful work accomplished with drones.

The brainchild of digital entrepreneur, Richard Nichols, Airwards launches in association with ARPAS-UK, the not-for-profit trade association for the UK drone industry. The independent digital awards scheme will commend the very best UAV projects, companies and individuals leading the way in innovation, responsibility and real world solutions. A variety of disciplines will be recognised by Airwards, all of which are positively advancing human capabilities.

The UAV awards scheme has been established to bring together the drone community as well as raise awareness of positive drone uses with the wider general public. Airwards champions UAV projects that are pushing boundaries, creating innovative solutions and transforming industries.

Through the platform, Airwards showcases best practices and new perspectives on the drone industry by recognising the groundbreaking work across a multitude of sectors. Winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges who will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Airwards, Founder, Richard Nichols, commented: “The drone industry is doing incredible work but much of it flies under the radar and deserves recognition. For many people, drones have a bad reputation - and I wanted to do something to change that. Having been involved with UAV companies for a number of years I felt it was time to do something that brought the drone industry together and recognised the positive ways this technology is improving the world we live in. The Airwards vision is to have drones recognised for leading the way in every industry.” 

ARPAS-UK CEO, Graham Brown, commented: “Airwards is a great initiative to promote the positive impact of drones. Drones help multiple industries and provide many solutions to businesses that are safer, faster, cheaper and greener than current methods or alternatives. We are delighted to support an awards system that recognises the work of the drone industry and the talented people who work in it.

"With the launch of Airwards, we hope to see examples of safe, professional operation of drones, innovative uses and projects which continue to break new ground and deliver significant benefits to the industry and the wider public.”

How the awards work

Airwards is open to a range of companies, including UAV specialists disrupting an industry, startups using drone technology for creative solutions, and large corporations driving innovation. There are more than 20 awards in total, spanning a wide variety of uses and sectors including technology, operations, supporting services, industry specific and giving back.

Entrants must successfully meet the Airwards criteria to be shortlisted. Amongst others, the three main criteria are:

  1. Innovative: Promoting pioneering ideas that are successfully challenging the perception of what a drone is and can be.
  2. Responsible: Recognising the key aspect of safety in every drone flight to advocate legitimate behaviour as a standard best practice.
  3. Real-world: Asking the question: ‘How are drones making a difference?’ by demonstrating quantifiable outcomes and tangible solutions.

Entrants will be able to submit their work from 1st December 2020 until 12th February 2021. Award submission costs vary and winners will be announced by late May 2021. For full details on how to enter and more information, click here.

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