The Australian government has announced that it will grant 12 aviation tech projects a total of $18 million in funding.
Some of the successful projects include AMSL Aero’s eVTOL aircraft, Praxis Lab’s plan for solar wing surfaces for electric aircraft, and a whole range of innovative uses of drone technology, including AI-powered digital farming.
The grants are part of the first round of funding for the Emerging Aviation Technology Partnership (EATP) program, which will deliver a total of $32.6 million in funding by June 2024.
Participants in the program were carefully selected through a transparent and highly competitive process.
Round two will see the remaining funding allocated through another grant process, opening the way for a totally new set of applicants to secure funding.
The goal of the EATP program is to make the Australian aviation industry more efficient, competitive and sustainable, with a particular emphasis on innovation.
Transport Minister Catherine King said, “The Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships Program will ensure our aviation sector remains at the forefront of innovation as it continues to develop and grow, particularly with the renewed focus on achieving net zero carbon emissions.”
Round 1 of the program focuses on projects that will bring tangible benefits to rural communities, including expanded supply chains and improved transport and communications connections.
“This program will directly support regional communities in improving health services and connections, as well as enhancing the capabilities of Australian businesses in delivering new aviation operations with increased technical complexity,” said Minister King
The government also projects that the EATP program will create greater employment opportunities in the emerging technology sector within Aviation.
Among the successful participants in this round of funding, two of the projects have a particular emphasis on developing technology that will benefit indigenous Australians.
Marlee Djinda is a drone and data-as-a-service company that is aiming to build and integrate a drone with sensors and cameras to facilitate the delivery of a land care management program within the Ngaanyatjarra Aboriginal Land Council in WA.
Charles Darwin University is meanwhile trialling a drone delivery service of health-care-related items to extremely remote indigenous communities in the Northern territory.