A Brisbane-based drone company has secured $US2.45 million in international capital investment to expand its tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle business into overseas markets, following direct support from the Palaszczuk Government recently.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Skyborne received a grant through round two of the government’s Ignite Ideas program to develop their ground-breaking tri-tilt-rotor UAV, Cerberus GL.
“We invest in new industries to create sustainable jobs for Queenslanders,” she said.
“Since the government first partnered with Skyborne in 2017, they’ve created an extra 10 positions in Brisbane and are scaling up to export their technology overseas.
“This is a great example of a company that’s successfully leveraged government support to attract significant international investment from a private investor based in Abu Dhabi to continue growing its business and get closer to commercialisation.”
The Cerberus GL UAV weighs less than six kilograms and has the capability to provide user aerial support on the battlefield, being classed as the lightest armed tactical UAV of its class, with applications in defence, counter-terrorism and law enforcement.
“Skyborne is continuing to kick goals and was recently selected to participate in the US Army Manoeuvre Battle Lab’s Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment,” Ms Jones said.
“At an international Krypto Lab’s Drone Innovation Startup Contest in May 2018, they placed third against 600 other companies.
“The Palaszczuk Government has now supported almost 270 Queensland businesses through four rounds of the Ignite Ideas.
“By investing in innovation, we’ve created more than 14,500 jobs in Queensland.”
Skyborne Technologies CEO and Director Dr Michael Creagh said that although the Cerberus GL weighed less than six kilograms it was capable of providing aerial fire support at the squad and platoon level. It could also be used to deploy flash or smoke grenades to assist with counter-terrorism and law enforcement initiatives.
“It has been an amazing two years for Skyborne under Advance Queensland’s Ignite Ideas program, securing a Series A round of investment to expand our engineering team and manufacturing capabilities to deliver a commercialised product to interested parties,” Dr Creagh said.
“Raising capital for the next generation of tactical UAVs is not an easy undertaking and without grant programs like Ignite Ideas, companies like ours face an even greater struggle.”
Skyborne Technologies Chief Business Officer and Director Adrian Dudok said the support from the Queensland Government and recent capital raise has allowed Skyborne to employ seven additional staff and move to a larger commercial premise to support in-house manufacturing.
“With the continued support from the Queensland Government, Skyborne will contribute towards the focus on strengthening Queensland’s defence and manufacturing industry. The export opportunities are endless and we’ve received some serious interest from the US and Middle East.”
Ignite Ideas is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $650 million Advance Queensland initiative.