Integrated drone management platform set for take off

| August 15, 2018

A Townsville company that’s developed a flight-planning system for commercial drone operators which is set to create 50 new jobs is one of 70 companies supported through more than $8.3 million in Palaszczuk Government funding announced.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said FlyFreely, which developed a software platform to handle flight planning and approval processes for commercial drone missions, received $250,000 in funding to help launch their product nationally and in two neighbouring countries.

“Drones are a rapidly growing industry,” he said.

“FlyFreely has created a system that is in great demand across the world. That’s why we’ve invested to help them scale-up their operation, start exporting overseas and ultimately create more jobs in Queensland.

“We’re committed to investing in innovative businesses in Townsville because we know this is a great way to create sustainable jobs in north Queensland.”

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said FlyFreely was among the latest Ignite Ideas recipients for companies that are ready to scale up or with products on the cusp of commercialisation.

“These companies are at an exciting point with their products and will use the funding to ramp up development and expand their workforce,” Ms Jones said.

“Through a highly competitive, independently assessed process they showed they have the innovative products the talent and the right mindset to take their businesses to new levels and new markets.

“The Palaszczuk Government has now supported 271 Queensland businesses through $34.65 million (four rounds) of Ignite Ideas, driving more than one thousand new jobs.”

FlyFreely founder and CEO David Cole said the application of drones seemed endless and their product enabled major players in mining, agriculture, power, telecommunications and the research sector in North Queensland to get on board.

“We’re setting up an international operations centre in Townsville and will create 50 more jobs in the region over the next three years to meet demand,” he said.

“We have also recently reached in principal agreement with a key Ministry in Vietnam that will see FlyFreely help power the development of the commercial drone industry in Vietnam.”

Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Steve Baxter said the Ignite Ideas funding would help the 70 businesses take their next big step forward.

“Access to capital is one of the key challenges for early stage startups. The Ignite Ideas grants provide a source of funding that can take these businesses to the next level, helping them commercialise quickly,” he said.

Ignite Ideas is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $650 million Advance Queensland initiative.