The 2020 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers have been announced, and just one is a drone company.
The annual Technology Pioneers list names early to growth-stage companies that are advancing new technologies in all sorts of fields, whether it’s sustainable food production, investing, transportation and more.
The 2020 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers list includes 100 companies — just 56 companies were named in the 2019 list.
And of those 100 companies, just one is a drone company: Wingcopter.
Wingcopter is a German drone maker known of its electric-powered vertical take-off and landing drone. They’ve focused resources to using the drone to deliver medical supplies, food and packages.
Wingcopter has been on an award-winning tear lately. Wingcopter, UNCEF and the African Drone & Data Academy together were named one of the nine winners of a massive coronavirus hackathon hosted by the German government, dubbed #SmartDevelopmentHack (that project showed how drones can improve health supply chains during COVID-19, and also proposed a delivery drone network in Malawi that would provide on-demand access to medical supplies such as COVID-19 test kits or vaccines, once available).
And earlier this month, they were named a finalist in the third annual AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards 2020.
By being named a Technology Pioneer, Wingcopter and the other 99 tech startups will begin a two-year journey with the World Economic Forum, where they’ll be expected to participate in initiatives, activities and events.
Of the 56 companies selected last year for the 2019 Technology Pioneers awards, there were two drone companies: Airobotics and Volocopter. Airobotics claims t have built the the world’s first regulatory compliant commercial drone, capable of high-frequency data collection, processing, visualization and analysis. Volocopter, which is also a German company, is working on a drone designed to be able to carry humans.
The World Economic Forum has had its sights set on drones for a long time, and it continues to invest energy, time and money into the drone industry.
Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum partnered with the World Bank and the Government of Rwanda to host the 2020 African Drone Forum. The multi-day event, which took place in February in Kigali, Rwanda, includes a range of activities, from a symposium of global drone policy experts to a drone equipment expo to a flying competition hosted on Rwanda’s iconic Lake Kivu with about $50,000 in prize money on the table.
“Increasing drone use in Africa can not only bring great benefits to business, agriculture and the health sector but quite literally save lives by taking deliveries off the roads and into the sky,” Timothy Reuter, head of aerospace and drones at the World Economic Forum, said in regards to the 2020 African Drone Forum.
Oh, and one more thing: Wingcopter is still hiring for dozens of roles including, yes, drone pilot.