3rd Edition of Aerospace Valley Drone Day Concludes Successfully.

Published by:Abhishek Daxini
Drone Day event by aerospace valley

The event was hosted at the picturesque Haras de Tarbes, sprawling over several hectares of lush greenery, accentuated by century-old trees. The historic venue, now home to the equestrian brigade of the 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment, provided an ideal setting for discussions on the environmental and military applications of drones.

Day one commenced with dynamic demonstrations and static presentations of drones in real-world conditions, showcasing the latest advancements in drone technology. Participants had the opportunity to engage with representatives from the Army, who presented insightful perspectives on the role of drones in various domains.

The event featured a distinguished lineup of opening keynote speakers, each bringing unparalleled expertise and insight to the forefront of aerospace innovation and collaboration. Leading the inaugural session was Eric GIRAUD, Director General of Aerospace Valley, alongside François-Xavier BRUNET, President of the Tarbes Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI). They were joined by Arnaud RIMOKH, Deputy Director of Drones and New Usages at Aerospace Valley, and David COMBY, Program Director of Drones at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC-DSAC). Together, these esteemed speakers set the stage for a dynamic and transformative event, highlighting the crucial role of collaboration and innovation in shaping the future of the aerospace and drone industry.

In his opening address, Arnaud RIMOKH, Deputy Director of Drones at Aerospace Valley, expressed gratitude to the event's supporters and participants, including the Defense Innovation Agency, DGA - General Directorate of Armament, DGA TA - Aeronautical Techniques, as well as regional authorities such as the Occitanie / Pyrenees-Mediterranean Region and Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region. Special acknowledgment was extended to the Land Operational Forces Command and the 17th Artillery Group Unit for their valuable contributions.

A heartfelt thanks were also extended to the City of Tarbes and the Haras National de Tarbes team for their warm hospitality.

Day two of the Aerospace Valley Drone Day focused on fostering collaboration and networking opportunities among cluster members and industry stakeholders. The afternoon was dedicated to a series of B2B meetings held at the Tarbes and Hautes-Pyrénées Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Participants had the chance to interact with key entities such as the Defense Innovation Agency, Bpifrance, Cerema, and the Land Force, among others.

Two rounds of panel discussions were conducted during this day. 

The first panel discussion delved into the evolving role of drones in modern warfare, drawing insights from recent conflicts. Representatives from key entities including the Ministry of Armed Forces, Defense Innovation Agency, and the Institute of Strategic Research at the Military School shared perspectives on operational requirements and experiences. Discussions surrounded how drones are a big security threat globally due to easy access and low cost barriers to acquire drone technology. An interesting point was highlighted by a panelist, earlier the innovation would first be made in military applications and then the it would find its way in to civilian use due to market pull, but this time it's the other way round. The innovation on the civilian use is happening first, and the the military is being forced to follow/react to it. All agreed that drone detection is a major concern, and that drone/anti-drone solutions are indispensable part of the defence forces anywhere in the world. The panelists included Guillaume CURE from the Command of Land Operational Forces, Edouard D'AUBIGNY from the 11th Parachute Brigade, Bastien BAYART, Innovation Portfolio Manager, and Océane ZUBELDIA, a researcher specializing in drones, industries, and innovation.

The second panel discussion focused on the utilisation of drones for environmental purposes, highlighting operational needs and strategies of four public organisations dedicated to environmental conservation. Representatives from CNES, National Center for Meteorological Research, National Center for Forest Property, and CEREMA participated in the discussion. The panelists included Nicolas PICOT, responsible for the development of altimetry projects, Sébastien BARRAU, a meteorologist at CNRM, Roland DE LARY, Director General of CNPF, and Jocelyn LEYSSENNE, a research manager. Each panelist shared how they have already replaced some of the conventional methods with drones, the evolving use cases in their respective fields of research and applications. Matters like climate change is impacting the weather patterns, flora and fauna, natural resources and need continued monitoring using satellites, planes, ground stations and now drones. 

These insightful discussions provided a platform for exchange and collaboration, further emphasising the diverse applications and potential of drone technology in both military and environmental domains.

Exhibitors, including prominent names such as Groupe Aéro Pyxis, AXA Assurances CATALA & Associés, and DAHER, showcased their offerings, providing insights into potential collaborations and partnerships.

With the curtains drawing to a close on its third edition, the Aerospace Valley Drone Day reaffirmed its position as a premier platform for innovation, collaboration, and networking in the aerospace sector.

About Aerospace Valley:

Aerospace Valley is a leading European competitiveness cluster in the aerospace sector. It plays a pivotal role in the development and competitiveness of its members by fostering innovation and promoting collaborative research and development projects. Through its initiatives, Aerospace Valley continues to drive progress and excellence in the aerospace industry.

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