Over $18 million awarded for emerging aviation tech partnerships

AMSL Aero. Image credit: verita.com

The federal government has announced more than $18 million in grants for 12 aviation projects as part of the Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships (EATP) program’s first round. 

The latest round supports a wide array of projects, including the development of digital farming, boosting regional supply chains, connecting regional communities, and growing manufacturing in emerging aviation technology. 

The selected projects were vetted through an open and competitive grant process. 

These include AMSL Aero’s electrical vertical take-off and landing aircraft manufacturing zeroed in on regulatory barriers and trials of air ambulances in regional New South Wales; Praxis Lab’s proposed structural solar surfaces for the wings of an upcoming fleet of Australian electric aircraft; and Central Queensland University’s prototype drone system capable of artificial intelligence-driven weed detection and herbicide spraying (digital farming). 

The EATP program will allocate a total of more than $32.6 million up until June 2024 in an effort to make Australian aviation more competitive and sustainable. 

The remaining funding is slated to be awarded in the program’s second round. 

Catherine King, minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development, and local government, said the EATP program will ensure that Australia’s aviation industry remains at the forefront of innovation as it continues to develop and grow, “particularly with the renewed focus on achieving net zero carbon emissions.”

“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,” King added. 

Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Carol Brown said the program will also create more jobs in the aviation industry and contribute to the digital transformation of Australian businesses through the adoption of emerging tech that addresses community needs, particularly in regional Australia. 

“The program also aims to identify and address regulatory and other barriers present within the sector,” Brown said.