Sandbox for dronetech innovation by Technology Park Malaysia

[This is a sponsored post with MaGIC.]

Drones have many facets in the way they attract hobbyists and innovators. They can be used for filming, for commercial purposes such as logistics, or even just for fun (drone racing, are you interested?).

The functions and industries related to drones have grown significantly over the years, but one thing remains constant: There are rules and regulations that control or limit how and where these drones can be used.

So where can drone enthusiasts in Malaysia experience, test and fully optimize the capabilities of their drones?

When it comes to being a one-stop-shop for drones, Area 57 wants to go all out. To understand the role and impact that Area 57 hopes to play, we need to zoom out to get the big picture.

A key player to take into account is the Malaysia Corporation Technology Park (TPM), Malaysia’s innovation enabler and technology catalyst. Established by the Malaysian Ministry of Finance in 1996, it is now consolidated with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center (MaGIC) into a technology commercialization agency.

Who is who: The TPM reports to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). As the national engine of innovation and technology, TPM manages and operates a 686-acre technology park campus in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. With its physical incubator and technological infrastructure, it is the only 4th generation incubator service provider locally offering a full range of services.

An environment conducive to the growth of drone technology

Returning to Area 57, this is an integrated 5-acre ecosystem with a commercialization research center to accelerate drone technological innovations and talent development. It is equipped with facilities such as 100 meter drone track, 300 square meter drone net, drone test mockup sites, prototype development manufacturing equipment, service workshop and maintenance, and sees itself as a one-stop-shop for drone communities.

The main objectives of Area 57 are as follows:

  • Increase the number of drone pilots, operators and certified technicians
  • Increase the number of local drone products
  • Job creation for pilots, operators, developers, trainers and technicians
  • Reduction in drone service and maintenance costs

Since its launch in September, drone players have already had the chance to experience what the initiative has to offer. One of them is VStream revolution, a company specializing in the supply of drone solutions for industrial and commercial use.

They listed the benefits they received as follows:

  • Site: “The most convenient place for a drone operator to perform flight tests, proof of concept, training and other research and development. “
  • Installations: “[It] has an incubator, an innovation and business center.
  • Collaboration opportunities: “Other agencies, like MIMOS, and universities, like APU, are in area 57.”

Saravanan Chettiar, CEO of VStream Revolution, mentioned that by leveraging resources in Area 57, they were able to perform assessments to confirm the drone’s airworthiness and pilot proficiency. After this first experience, they started using Area 57 for all of their training.

When zone 57 is launched

Geoprecision technology had a similar positive encounter. Their activity focuses on cartography, soil studies, asset labeling and resource mapping. One major project they are working on is tree inventory and volume estimation for the Sarawak Forest Corporation. They found Area 57 to be very useful for performing additional field tests while networking.

Another company that has marked the industry is Terra drone technology, one of the world’s leading drone service providers. They’ve been in Area 57 from the start.

Company CEO Izwan said, “Actually, we were the ones who prepared the initial Area 57 proposal document for submission to the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia. We were part of the initial working group for Area 57 and among the pioneers of this initiative. “

Currently, Terra Drone is focused on solutions for infrastructure inspection, mapping and image analysis, in line with industry requirements.

By joining Area 57, Izwan believes that “participants can have access to assistance in the development and manufacture of drones and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).”

Area 57 has and will continue to give many startups and enthusiasts the opportunity to transform their businesses and drone technology.

We have already seen a local drone supplier, Aerodyne, achieve international recognition as the top ranked remote sensing company in the world. They are currently serving as advisers in Area 57 to help promote the growth of the local ecosystem.

With more testing and certification facilities and equipment to be put in place in the near future, Area 57 is poised to play a vital role in the development of the drone community here.

  • Learn more about MaGIC here, TPM here, and zone 57 here.
  • Read what we have written about MaGIC in the past here.

Featured Image Credit: MaGIC

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