Wingcopter nabs a win at COVID-19 hackathon

By on 27 May, 2020

Wingcopter CEO and co-founder Tom Plümmer in Rwanda earlier this year. Image courtesy of Wingcopter.

German UAV startup Wingcopter has been named one of nine winners of a global hackathon aimed at tackling the challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak in low and middle income countries.

The autonomous delivery drone manufacturer joined forces with UNICEF and the African Drone and Data Academy to develop a concept to deploy humanitarian drone delivery services.

The winning concept aims to improve health supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Wingcopter and its partners will receive as much as $3.6 million USD to make the plan a reality.

The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development launched in a bid to solicit innovative digital solutions to tackle the challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak in low-and-middle-income countries.

Wingcopter’s winning concept outlined the development of a locally operated humanitarian drone delivery network in the east African country of Malawi. In an effort to support community healthcare systems, the delivery drones would provide on-demand access to medical supplies such as coronavirus test kits and, hopefully, future vaccines.

The program also has a vital STEM component as it will also launch two training programs to teach 160 Malawi children how to build, operate and maintain drones, as well as train them in data-analytics.

“Wingcopter’s long-term strategy involves developing a sustainable education platform for youth to enable them to participate in the rapidly growing drone market, offering new job and income opportunities and ultimately improving their quality of life,” Wingcopter CEO Tom Plümmer said.

“By providing both theoretical and practical training on our drones, we will help young people to enter the industrial drone sector faster and better equipped,” he added.

“This concept is fully in line with our vision and we are happy that the award recognises and supports this approach.”

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