With an industry predicted to be worth $42.8B by 2025, drones continue to transform a number of industries, from medical and agriculture to transport and construction. Now, there is a unifying global awards scheme recognising best practice drone work (also called UAS or UAV). Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (ARPAS-UK) is introducing the Airwards: a not-for-profit awards platform which champions the breadth of pioneering work accomplished with drones.

A first digital awards scheme of its kind to recognise the wide variety of positive drone use cases, submissions to Airwards are open until mid-March 2021, with winners announced in May. The award categories span a number of uses and sectors, including Technology, Operations, Supporting Services, specific Industries/Fields and Giving Back, with a People’s Choice category voted for by the public.

Advance the drone industry

Airwards will be looking for outstanding examples where drones are leading the way in innovation, responsibility and impactful real-world solutions.

We’re on a mission to advance the drone industry by championing the broad range of positive drone use cases"

Airwards founder, Richard Nichols, says: “We’re on a mission to advance the drone industry by championing the broad range of positive drone use cases from across the globe. 2020 proved a pivotal moment for the drone industry, so we believe the time is now for companies to come together and share their impactful drone work."

Airwards categories

"Airwards was established not only as a way to bring the drone community together in one place, encouraging cross-industry collaboration, but also to raise awareness of positive drone uses with the wider public - ultimately working towards greater public acceptance of drones. We’re really looking forward to finding some incredible drone projects in our inaugural year and showcasing the inspiring stories behind them.”

As a global drone awards platform, Airwards, is open to a range of individuals and companies, including drone specialists transforming an industry, startups using drone technology for creative solutions, and large corporations driving innovation. Awards are grouped by discipline, with entries to the ‘Technology’, ‘Operations’, ‘Supporting Services’ and ‘Industry/Field’ categories starting from £49 for startups.

Airwards eligibility & criteria

‘Giving Back’ is free to enter and ‘People’s Choice’ is by nomination-only and voted for by the public. For the full category list, one can visit the Airwards website. Entrants must successfully meet the Airwards eligibility to be able to enter, which includes relevant permits and licences for the project in the country of origin. Amongst others, the three main criteria the Airwards judges will be looking for, are:

  • Innovative: Promoting pioneering ideas successfully challenging what a drone is / can be.
  • Responsible: Recognising the key aspect of safety in every drone flight to advocate legitimate behaviour as a standard best practice.
  • Real-world: Asking the question: ‘How are drones making a difference?’ by demonstrating quantifiable outcomes and tangible solutions.

Full Airwards category list

Airwards launched in 2020 in association with ARPAS-UK, the not-for-profit trade association for the UK drone industry. Judges will be revealed in due course. Entrants will have from until 12 March 2021, with winners announced late May 2021. For more details on entering, eligibility, pricing, judging criteria and FAQs, one can visit the Airwards official website.

  • Technology
    • Counter Drone Systems (Anti-Drones)
    • Sensors and Payload
    • Software - Captured data management and analysis
    • Software - Enabling flight and operational management
  • Operations
    • Airspace Management
    • Delivery
    • Survey and Inspection
  • Supporting Services
    • Consultancy
    • Insurance and Financing
    • Repair and Maintenance
    • Training and Certification
  • Industry/Field
    • Agriculture
    • Construction and Planning
    • Defence, Security and Surveillance
    • Energy
    • Media, Events and Creative
    • Medical and Healthcare
    • Transport
  • Giving Back
    • Conservation and Environment
    • Education and Research
    • Emergency Response and SAR
    • Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief
    • Public Safety
  • People’s Choice
    • Organisation - External Advocate
    • Organisation - Startup
    • Organisation - SME
    • Organisation - Enterprise
    • Person - Rising Star
    • Person - Industry Impactor
    • Person - Disruptor
Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What are the security challenges of protecting SMBs?
What are the security challenges of protecting SMBs?

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) make huge contributions to the economy overall. Considered individually, they may not be as large as companies in the enterprise market, but they have big requirements when it comes to security. SMBs also present unique challenges to security manufacturers and integrators seeking to serve their needs. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)?

Expert roundup: healthy buildings, blockchain, AI, skilled workers, and more
Expert roundup: healthy buildings, blockchain, AI, skilled workers, and more

Our Expert Panel Roundtable is an opinionated group. However, for a variety of reasons, we are sometimes guilty of not publishing their musings in a timely manner. At the end of 2020, we came across several interesting comments among those that were previously unpublished. Following is a catch-all collection of those responses, addressing some of the most current and important issues in the security marketplace in 2021.

Smart Offices: How is mobile ID changing the way we access the office?
Smart Offices: How is mobile ID changing the way we access the office?

If you’re a security or facilities manager, you may already be aware of the quiet revolution that’s taking place across businesses and organisations up and down the country. By the end of 2020, 20% of all ID and access control systems featured mobile capability, and this is set to increase by a further 34% over the next three years. There’s no doubt that using a smartphone or mobile device in place of traditional credential and access control is a growing trend that’s only been sped up by the pandemic. It’s true that many businesses are still very much focused on remote working, although many are now starting to implement new-and-improved strategies that are better suited to protect the workforce moving forward. Mobile ID systems As the next normal becomes clearer, businesses will be reviewing procedures such as access control, occupancy monitoring, reducing touch points and tracking visitors. Mobile ID systems are ideally suited to this task. But what are the key reasons for considering such a setup in 2021? But why is this new technology so well-suited to future-proof your physical access system, and why is it becoming so popular? Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be? Low-frequency 125kHz cards can be cloned in a matter of seconds with the use of cheap, readily available tools. Despite their weaknesses, they are still used by a huge majority of businesses – big and small. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential Replacing such a system with a mobile-enabled system is one of the best ways to increase security ten-fold. Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, mobile ID offers best-in-class security and cryptography. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential. Bluetooth Smart and NFC (Near Field Communication) make them the best product to operate such a credential via a secure app. If you’re looking for best-in-class security in 2021, mobile access is most definitely the way forward. Removing touch points across the business Reducing touch points and the adoption of touchless facilities has become a key priority for businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Even as businesses start to return to the office and operate a home/office split, it will be imperative that unnecessary contact is kept to an absolute minimum between staff. The traditional issuance of identification and access control credentials can pose problems in this regard. Facility and security managers who are responsible for onboarding and processing ID have done the process face to face. Mobile access makes it possible to carry this process out without people coming into direct content. First, the security manager has access to a secure portal, allowing them to create, manage and edit credentials anywhere. They can upload and remotely transfer mobile ID and access control credentials directly to users’ smartphones over the air. Via the secure app, users can view and see their credentials and immediately begin using it for ID and access control by simply placing their smartphone over card readers. Enabling a more flexible way of working The way in which we work has changed for good. Even as people more people return to the office in 2021, a majority of businesses will be operating a home/office split indefinitely. This once again reinforces the need for a smarter, more adaptable onboarding system. Implementing mobile ID is the perfect way of doing this: over-the-air delivery of credentials and security data is now a given, helping businesses create the perfect balance between the home and the office. No longer do people have to come into the office for the onboarding process. Increasing convenience and user experience More often businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security Ok, so mobile ID is the perfect way of increasing security and adapting workplaces to a post-COVID way of working. And we’ve not even touched on the most obvious advantage yet: Convenience. How many times have you forgotten your ID card? We’re sure it’s more times than you forget your smartphone. These powerful processors have become intertwined with the way we carry out tasks on a daily basis. They’re so vital that people will soon notice if they’ve forgotten it. From an employee’s perspective, mobile ID and access control is simple, convenient and extremely user-friendly. More and more businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security. From the employer’s perspective, mobile ID means it’s easier for administrators to manage access and credentials. Future-proofing access control now will ensure that in the longer term, mobile ID is well worth the investment. The annual expenditure of printing ID cards and purchasing credentials can be vast, while reissuance costs can also quickly add up for larger organisations. These issues are a thing of the past for businesses using mobile ID. Mobile ID perfect tool for 2021 and beyond Until mobile ID, new and improved credentials’ main focus was on increasing security. Mobile ID not only delivers that, but it also provides a more convenient way of accessing the office in a way that’s perfectly suited to returning to the office in 2021. If there was ever a time to upgrade, now is the time. Summing up, mobile access is changing the way we access the office by: Eliminating weak links in security systems such as outdated legacy card technologies Eradicating the need for touch points across multiple areas of the workplace Enabling a smarter, more flexible approach to onboarding Increasing convenience – for both employers and employees.