Drone market approaching!?

How research sees the drone market

Everybody speaks about drones. But is it a hype or a market? Is there a chance to build a sustainable market with an international impact? Do we have the chance to generate the predicted amount of revenue out of the market?

Prof. Dr. Del Re is the director of the Institute for unmanned systems. His institute worked at an research project for the German Federal Ministry of Justice to enlighten the drone market.

His point of view, generated out of research and data will give you a slightly different view on the drone market. He will enlighten data-related decisions and his point of view.



BUVUS-Team: Prof. Dr. Del Re, the Institute for Unmanned Systems (IuS) carried out a research project for the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJV).

How do the results of this research effect your impression of the market development?


Prof. Dr. Andreas T. Del Re: The results helped us to get an impression on various market developments that are based on plain data instead of perception. We took at close look at several research results and collected data from different institutions to draw a fact driven picture about the current status quo. This picture clearly gives the impression that every single contemplation of the market is very diversified but every aspect is linked to another. One key task was to identify the specific hazards that go along with the increase of unmanned aircraft systems and remotely piloted aircraft systems in our society. This task is absolutely incomplete if you don’t take rules and regulations, technology, applications, economic influences, perception of society, existing processes, political circumstances and many other aspects into consideration. Taking this interdisciplinary point of view in combination with plain existing data we could show some existing causes and effects of current developments. The research project also helped to understand that there are several stakeholders with different impressions and perceptions about the market and that solutions are often driven by special interests rather than real needs. This makes it hard to sketch a single market development overall.


BUVUS-Team: Everybody speaks about the “future markets” or the “new internet”. Concerning drones and unmanned systems - is it already a market or just a trend?


Prof. Dr. Andreas T. Del Re: There is a definite market. It is not a mature market. The market is still at the stage of introduction. We see many early adopters with a lot of products and solutions that are far from product market fit. But we also face a very dynamic market with some fields reaching growth stage. Research and development activities for example are growing at a high scale concerning the number of projects the companies getting involved and the volume of tenders. The discussion we face is based on the perception that a huge mature market will be their over night and that the return of invest will happen within less than one year. The potential of the technology will unfold over a longer period of time depending on the many aspects I mentioned earlier.


BUVUS-Team: Where do you see problems for the market development – what are the showstoppers regarding your analytics?


Prof. Dr. Andreas T. Del Re: A big issue is that gears do not interlock at this point in time. There are no standards, no common rules and regulations, no international uniformity, no harmonized voices, no consistent solutions, no equal processes, no transparent administrations and no binding overlays. This decreases the speed everyone is looking and hoping for in the market development. Therefore a lot of measures taking are too complex and fail accelerating the market. But we do not see a real showstopper. Supply and demand will at the end handle the market development and the existing issues will be overcome. It will just take longer.


BUVUS-Team: There will be a new LuftVO (Air regulation) for Germany. Beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) will be possibly opened for commercial flights. What will be the market impact?


Prof. Dr. Andreas T. Del Re: Yes, BVLOS flights for RPAS will be possible under certain conditions that yet need to be clearly defined. It is really hard to tell how this will effect the market, because we do not know the exact provisions of implementation yet. So the impact on the market depends on how permissions will be granted and how processes will be designed and implemented. Therefore a precise forecast can not be given at this point in time. We do expect an ongoing growth concerning R&D activities. We still doubt that the possibility of granted BVLOS permissions alone will cause a break through at a large scale. Within limited areas and airspace especially around objects the modification could help improve a lot of applications. 


BUVUS-Team: What do you expect from the CeBIT Unmanned Systems & Solutions?


Prof. Dr. Andreas T. Del Re: I expect a growing understanding of different aspects of the value chain for all market players. So we are not only expecting a lot of solutions but also a lot of challenges that will be adressed. As the interest in these technologies grow the Institute for unmanned Systems at Northern Business School in Hamburg is there to be a partner to solve specific industry needs and issues in alle phases of new value chains.


Thank you for this interview and the answers.


Prof. Dr. Andreas Del Re is the director of the Institute for unmanned Systems at Northern Business School in Hamburg and the responsible coordinator of the research field of economics concerning unmanned systems. He is professor for accounting and has a long standing in business valuation. He was resposible for several portfolio managements, ratings and acquisitions for several european corporations. He released several publications on ratings and valuations as well as the impact of information and communication technologies. Prof. Dr. Del Re advises companies on how to implement and use unmanned technologies on a solid economic basis in various industries.

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