Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has welcomed 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, between Airbus and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), 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 committed to collaborate on innovation challenges that combine UA and space data technologies. These challenges will generate solutions for real problems, catalyse innovation and increase our R&D capabilities in UAs and space data technologies and applications,” says Minister Megan Woods.
“Airbus is an international leader in innovation, with deep knowledge and great access to data and specific technical tools – all things that we can leverage to build our own R&D capabilities.
“Airbus is already building strong connections within our 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,” says Woods.
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.