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Two Calgary-based companies are partnering with an international agency for a new project that will help research, develop and commercialize the unmanned aerial systems industry.

The SkySensus project was announced at the end of October in Ottawa, and will be based in Alberta, which is a key player in Canada’s unmanned aerial systems industry and already has more than 500 companies using remotely piloted aircraft systems for commercial projects.

Defence contractor Peraton Canada is working with AERIUM Analytics and Canadian UAVs, both from Calgary, and the Foremost UAS Test Range in southern Alberta for the project. SkySensus will focus on Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), an important component part of the industry.

“There is a lot of significant innovation emerging from Calgary in the area of drones and autonomous vehicles,” says Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calgary Economic Development. “The SkySensus announcement further highlights this fast-growing sector and it is safe to say that we are a major hub for unmanned systems in Canada. Applied technology like this is truly our strength, and Calgary is the best region for innovation.”

The project is part of Peraton Canada’s commitments under Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits policy, which requires companies with military and Coast Guard contracts to invest in Canada’s economic development. It will run for a five-year term and is expected to stimulate growth for all companies involved as well as create 50 high-value jobs.

“The SkySensus project puts Alberta on the map as a leading jurisdiction for remotely piloted aircraft systems research, development and testing,” says Tanya Fir, Alberta’s Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Minister. “This is an exciting milestone for Alberta that also demonstrates to the world that our growing and dynamic aerospace and defence sector is primed for investment and is open for business.”

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