Villamandos highlights in Parliament that the Drone Innovation Center will maintain the scientific and technological leadership of Andalusia in this activity

Andalusian aerospace activity will be able to benefit from several lines of incentives quantified at 62.6 million euros and aimed at promoting innovation and the transfer of knowledge, as highlighted by the Regional Minister of University, Research and Innovation, José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, in the Commission. parliamentary, where he explained the progress of the Center for Innovation in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Urban Air Mobility of Seville (CUAM, for its acronym in English).

In his speech, Gómez Villamandos assured that, with these subsidies from the University Department, financed with the FEDER Andalusia 2021-2027 program, this strategic sector for the Andalusian economy will have the opportunity to “reinforce its growth and development.” Of this general count, 22.6 million will be allocated to technology centers, “which are a key piece for the transfer of knowledge and essential allies of business innovation,” he pointed out. To this amount are added another ten million euros for innovation clusters, which, as he has recognized, “are a vector of competitiveness and business growth, capable of attracting talent, promoting innovation and attracting investments in their reference sectors.” .

Along with these broader lines, the University counselor has also referred to two other aid programs that have a direct impact on the aerospace segment itself and involve an initial endowment of 30 million euros. The first of them, the ‘Space Innova Andalucía’, will have at least 20 million with which it seeks to identify innovative technological solutions in the space sector to apply them in areas of activity managed by the regional Administration related to the deployment of emergencies. , firefighting, environmental management or statistical and cartographic analysis. The action will be carried out through the Public Procurement of Innovation (CPI) formula, which is a new contracting system with which the Administration aims to satisfy a need for advanced services and products not yet available in the market, promoting responses from the private initiative.

The other ten million are reserved for the region to participate in the European ‘Clean Aviation’ program, which aims to promote the development of more sustainable aviation with fewer emissions, one of the great challenges facing aerospace activity. .

Aside from the incentives, the University counselor has also referred to the support for this sector that is being carried out in Andalusia from the university sphere, ensuring that the new academic programming that will be implemented in the period 2025-2028 includes the teaching of a master’s degree in Space Systems Operations proposed by the University of Seville. “This teaching will also enable specialization in the field of robotics, cybersecurity or artificial intelligence, areas that have communicating vessels with the aerospace industry,” he added.

Also in the field of training, but more in the sphere of vocational training, Gómez Villamandos has pointed out that the business network that operates in Seville will benefit from “the quality specialization” offered by the Rinconada Integrated Vocational Training Center, that “will make it possible to have better professionals,” he added. Likewise, he has trusted that Seville “knows how to take advantage of the opportunity offered by being the headquarters of the Spanish Special Agency.”

CUAM will maintain the scientific and technological leadership of Andalusia in drones

On the other hand, Gómez Villamandos explained that the University Department and the University of Seville have taken another step in their collaboration to promote the Center for Innovation in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Urban Air Mobility of Seville, with the acquisition of a 1,500 square meters facility in the Aerospace Technology Park of Andalusia (Aerópolis) intended to house this facility. For its implementation and development, CUAM will have a global budget of 20 million euros from the FEDER Andalusia 2021-2027 Program from the Regional Ministry, which has been transferred since 2023 and will be completed in 2025. This amount also includes of the purchase of a warehouse, the acquisition of unmanned aircraft and other equipment.

The purchase operation between Aerópolis and the USE was carried out last February for a value of 814,677 euros. The warehouse, which is located in Wilbur and Orville Wright street, stands on a plot of 1,092 square meters, has fully finished interior infrastructure and an approximate free height of 9.5 meters.

The infrastructure will focus on generating knowledge that allows “maintaining the scientific and technological leadership of Andalusia in unmanned aerial vehicle technologies for civil uses,” stressed the University counselor. Furthermore, its objective is to promote, as explained, “the transfer of the knowledge that will be generated through this initiative to companies, with special emphasis on SMEs, through a specific plan for the dissemination and transfer of results to promote the research and innovation in the business fabric.” With this, the center will strengthen and accompany the Andalusian aeronautical industry, enabling it to diversify towards new products, all of them with a high added value much higher than the traditional manufacturing of aerostructures.

Once the CUAM is completed, this infrastructure will be added to other unique and strategic facilities equipped with the most innovative technology, including the Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC), in Aerópolis, the Center for Experimental Flights with Unmanned Aircraft-ATLAS, located in Villacarrillo (Jaén), or the CEUS project, the Center for Research and Testing of Unmanned Aerial Systems, in the municipality of Moguer (Huelva), jointly promoted by the Board of Andalusia and the central government. Added to these equipment is the Spanish Space Agency, based in Seville.