Amid anti-DJI drive, Australia nurtures domestic drone development
A strain of drone protectionism appears to be spreading in Australia, where a political push to halt use of DJI craft by government agencies has coincided with the creation of a state tech accelerator encouraging the production of national alternatives to imported UAVs.
For the most part, inception of Australia’s Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA) last May follows examples of many other countries that have mandated state agencies or militaries to interface with tech companies, seeking to encourage development and production of emerging, often strategically important technologies. In the case of drones, creation of the ASCA appears intent on boosting an area of uncrewed aerial activity that politicians say domestic startups haven’t sufficiently pursued.
“The fact we don’t have a sovereign UAS capability and rely on other countries, particularly DJI drones from China, makes us vulnerable to supply chain disruptions,”…