• It is expected that this sector will generate more than 150,000 jobs in the next 20 years

El Drone Research Laboratory (DroneLab) was released today on the campus of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (CPU) situated in Castelldefels. It is a multidisciplinary flight space -with dimensions of 80x40x15 meters and covered by a protective net- specializing in mobile communications applied to drones. In this new center, the first of its kind in Europe, test flights will be carried out and applications based on drones will be validated and tested.

The DroneLab is promoted by the UPC and the Castelldefels Town Hall, with the support of the Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia (PMT) and the Escola d’Enginyeria de Telecomunicació i Aeroespacial de Castelldefels (EETAC), and is linked to ICARUS (Intelligent Communication and Avionics for Robust Unmanned Aerial Systems). The works of the space have been financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness thanks to the european fund FEDER.

With the implementation of the strategy of u spaceof the European ComissionIt is expected that in the next 20 years the drone sector will generate more than 150,000 jobs direct with an economic impact greater than the 10,000 million of euros per year. Most of these benefits are expected to derive from the provision of services, such as infrastructure inspection, the last kilometer (the final journey of transport), precision agriculture or urban mobility, among others.

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The inaugural act was presided over by the director of the EETAC, Christina Cervelloand has had the presence of daniel crespo, rector of the UPC, who has assured that this initiative was born with the intention of being «a benchmark in research and development in the field of telecommunications using drones» and hopes that, in a few years, Castelldefels and the UPC will be recognized by all of Spain as the epicenter of innovation in this field. Also present was the mayoress of Castelldefels, maria mirandawho has qualified the installation DroneLab «first order» and has valued the relationship between the university and the municipality. «As a city, we have a vocation for innovation that takes advantage of new technologies to respond to the needs of our citizens» she has increased. Joaquim Nin, Secretary General of the Department of Research and Universities; Enric Pastor, director of the ICARUS group, and Josep M. Yúfera, PMT delegate.

As an innovative scientific-technical facility, the DroneLab will make it possible to study the integration of drones with 4G and 5G communications and the Internet of Things. These technologies are key to the growth of the drone industry, since they represent the most viable alternative to overcome the obstacles they have in the field of communications.