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Civic Drone Centre

The Civic Drone Centre works with companies, individuals and organisations that are using or planning to use, remotely operated vehicles across a wide range of scenarios. These span search and rescue activity, journalism and media and humanitarian aid.

It seeks to provide technology and know-how to these organisations, and collaborate with a range of partners – locally, nationally and internationally – to explore and develop new technologies and knowledge in this sector.

Operating as a joint project between the UCLan’s Media Innovation Studio, based in the School of Journalism, Media and Performance, and the Engineering Innovation Centre – located in the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences – our work focuses resources on the three thematic areas, each with a unique set of technical, legal and ethical challenges.

By focussing on Humanitarian Aid, Journalism and Media, Search and Rescue, we’re committed to supporting a wide variety of civilian uses for UAVs, submersibles and remotely piloted land vehicles.

The Civic Drone Centre is the home of a wide range of disciplines and expertise. Founded with a multidisciplinary mandate, our team includes aviation, engineering and intelligent systems, media and journalism, documentary filmmaking, legal frameworks, electronics and a range of complementary skills sets.

  • Working with a range of SMEs, and large organisations across the region and beyond to innovate UAV hard and software for commercial, charitable and research activities
  • Contributed to UAV policy on a global level, advising the UAviators network and organisations such as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), World Food Program (WFP), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and others
  • The Civic Drone Centre runs the DroneHack hackathons that invite members of the public and academics to come together to explore a range of humanitarian and civic challenges in a rapid-prototyping environment
  • Offers UAV pilot training in conjunction with The Great Circle flight school
  • Due to our multidisciplinary approach, we publish a range of research in a wide range of journals