The U.K. British government announced on November 9 the first batch of companies who are recipients of $43.5 million of funding grants, including those being used to transport COVID-19 supplies.

According to the Daily Mail, 20 companies were included on the batch of grant recipients and they will share the $9.68 million initial grant. Nine among these companies help in the delivery of critical items and coronavirus supplies while reducing the exposure to the disease. They will receive one-third or about $3 million out of the $9.68 million announced today.

UK government gives $43.5 million funding for 34 drone companies
(Photo : Saffu/Unsplash)
UK government gives $43.5 million funding for 34 drone companies

There will be a total of 34 projects, which will receive a share of $39.55 million. Out of these companies, 14 that are specifically focused on the COVID-19 response program will get additional share of $4.61 million. Meanwhile, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will soon announce the other grant winners.

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Government funding grant winners

The 20 winning projects include drone development for COVID-19 medical supplies delivery to remote areas as well as the technology that enables remote inspections of construction and infrastructure sites to avoid putting workers at risk.

"Today we have announced over £7 million ($9.68 million) of funding for projects across the country," the statement noted.  It shows how the most cutting-edge aviation technologies can boost the government's coronavirus pandemic response while helping them build better projects while cementing their excellence in research and development.

Among the recipients announced by the government is the Cornish Drone Airbridge, which aims to deliver COVID-19 tests and PPEs to communities in the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall.

Business and Industry Minister Nadhim Zahawi noted that the U.K.'s initiatives pave the way for aviation revolution. "These bold proposals showcase the pioneering spirit of the UK's aerospace and aviation industries in solving global issues, and those facing us here in the UK," Zahawi said.

Windracers ULTRA UAV drone

The Windracers ULTRA UAV drone will be included in the Cornwall trial and it will fly back and forth the Lands End Airport and St Mary's Airport on the Isles of Scilly. Southampton-based company Windracers hopes to finish the trip carrying 50 kg of cargo within 30 minutes.

Windracers ULTRA UAV drone
(Photo : Windracers )
Windracers ULTRA UAV drone

The Windracers ULTRA UAV is a fixed-winged twin engine aircraft, which can carry up to 100 kg of supplies packed within a space, which is about the size of an estate car boot to serve as a logistics backup for "Lockdown 2.0" implementation.

"We are very pleased that we are able to contribute to helping the NHS fight COVID-19," Windracers CEO Charles Scales said, as reported by Daily Mail.

Windracers Executive Chairman Stephen Wright said that they are working with the Cornwall Development Company as well as with the University of Southampton for more than three years to build and design the Windracers ULTRA UAV. It will be the first time a load carrying UAV is used between the mainland Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.

Other projects focused on COVID-related projects getting a cash boost are MediDrone in London, BVLOS Drone Comms in Hertford, and a Chichester-based project.

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Written by CJ Robles

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