Wingcopter, a leading German drone company that develops autonomous delivery drones for commercial and humanitarian applications, was selected out of hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s latest “Technology Pioneers”. Dedicated to improving the lives of people worldwide, Wingcopter has been engaged in numerous drone delivery projects – from commercial, long-range factory-to-factory deliveries in Germany to life-saving humanitarian projects and emergency medical supply in various countries around the world.
In the South Pacific island state of Vanuatu, the start-up set up a drone-based on-demand supply network, delivering vaccines for children within minutes to 19 remote health clinics on behalf of the local Ministry of Health and supported by UNICEF. In Tanzania and Malawi, Wingcopter was able to prove that drone delivery can shorten patients’ waiting times, especially for urgently needed medicines, from several hours or even days to a few minutes. Recently, Wingcopter successfully completed a COVID-19 response trial together with Skyports and Thales on behalf of the NHS Scotland to provide the Isle of Mull with faster corona testing by transporting test kits and samples back and forth from the mainland. Further COVID-19 projects with partners and customers in other European countries are being prepared.
The core innovation behind the company’s highly efficient electric delivery drones is the patented tilt-rotor mechanism, which enables a seamless transition between two drone modes within seconds: multicopter for vertical take-off and landing and fixed-wing for fast and quiet long-range forward flight. Thanks to a proprietary winch mechanism the drones can safely and accurately lower the cargo at the point of destination without the need for any landing infrastructure.
The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society. The exclusive Technology Pioneers community is an integral part of the larger Global Innovators community of start-ups at the World Economic Forum.
Following its selection as a Technology Pioneer, Tom Plümmer, Co-founder & CEO of Wingcopter, will be invited to participate at World Economic Forum activities, events and discussions throughout the year. Wingcopter will also contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with policymakers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues.
“We’re excited to welcome Wingcopter to our 20th cohort of Technology Pioneers,” says Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum. “Wingcopter and its fellow pioneers are developing cutting edge technologies all over the world. Beyond their innovations, these firms are contributing greatly to improving the state of the world.”
“Being acknowledged as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, one of the world’s most influential institutions, is an immense honor for us. It recognizes that our technology is already disrupting traditional industries and at the same time has the power to improve the lives of millions of people”, said Tom Plümmer. “It also proves that you can focus on having a positive social impact while still being commercially successful. We look forward to a fruitful exchange with the Forum’s members and the other Tech Pioneers to jointly address some of the world’s biggest challenges.”
This year’s cohort selection marks the 20th anniversary of the Tech Pioneers community. Throughout its 20-year run, many Technology Pioneers have continuously contributed to advancement in their industries while some have even gone on to become household names. Past recipients include Google, Spotify, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Airbnb, Palantir Technologies, TransferWise, Twitter and Wikimedia.
2020 Tech Pioneer firms are shaping the future by advancing technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology and many more. The diversity of these companies extends to their leadership as well, as over 25% of 2020 Tech Pioneers are female led. The firms also come from regions all around the world, extending their community far beyond Silicon Valley.