Airbus selects Nigerian drone startup for global accelerator program
by FRANK ELEANYA
October 6, 2017 | 11:23 am| | | Start Conversation
AMINT Aerial Industrial, a Lagos-based technology startup has been shortlisted for the global aerospace accelerator program organised by Airbus in Hamburg Germany.
The accelerator program known as Airbus BizLab is a global platform where start-ups selected from around the world work together to tackle specific humanitarian challenges. The program includes funding to cover expenses and the option of investment into the startup.
The six months program provides start-ups access to Airbus business and technical coaches, experts and mentors. Each program also includes a demo day with Airbus decision makers, venture capitalists, and industry partners.
In a statement to BusinessDay, AMINT Aerial Industries founder, Ndubusi Arinze Eze noted that the company’s ambitions were in line with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2) of the United Nations which include “ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.”
As the world’s population continue to explode, Arinze Eze believes that the SDG2 will be attained through improved mechanisation in agriculture.
“Not only do we have aerial robot that potentially could revolutionise arable farming on earth, with support from an organisation like Airbus through its Aerospace Accelerator Program, this technology can advance improvements in other industrial sectors from mining, exploration to the aviation industry itself,” he said.
AMINT Aerial Industries was founded in 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria. The company secured a provisional patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for industrial drone they hope would help revolutionise arable farming in Africa and most other emerging economies struggling with undernourished populations.
The company’s first project, Agro-drone is currently in design and development stage.
“The team at AMINT Aerial Industries hopes through this six months acceleration program, it can get to prototyping its first model for the African market. With the expert support from the structure, flight physics, performance and aerodynamic departments and the entire UAV team at Airbus Hamburg, the preliminary testing of the first specimen is anticipated in the second quarter of 2018,” the statement noted.
AMINT said it sees a huge market opportunity particularly in the agriculture sector.
“The Airbus Aerospace Accelerator Program is an amazing opportunity for us, and will give us access to a world leading manufacturer, along with industry partners,” Ndubuisi Eze said.
He further noted that AMINT Aerial Industries have been working with smallholder farmers in states such as Lagos, Anambra, and Enugu. There have also been foreign partnerships in countries like Senegal and Peru, South America to grow ancillary revenue, and to improve their crop yields using aerial robots.
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