Flying High
Findings Report

Released July 2018

Nesta's Challenge Prize Centre, in partnership with Innovate UK, has released its findings from the first phase of the Flying High programme, outlining the opportunities and challenges for implementing drone technology in UK cities. Flying High has comprised a collaborative engagement with five UK city-regions that were chosen earlier this year (Bradford, London, Preston, Southampton and the West Midlands), along with national stakeholders from central government, technology experts, industry leaders, academics and regulators, and seeks to position the UK to become a global leader in shaping drone systems that place people's needs first.

Read the report here

Flying High


Think about your city at its best. Think about the good traffic days when things just flow. Think about what it takes for medical teams to deliver life-saving care and firefighters to contain a blaze. For frontline engineers to keep the water clean, the power on and a rising river at bay. And for construction workers to repair factories, ports and bridges at speed - and still get home safe.

None of that is easy. And doing it better year after year, so the local services and infrastructure you fund create a safer, more prosperous city, is even harder. Technology can and should help.

One area that shows promise is drone technology. Imagine if frontline workers could put their eyes, ears and equipment in the sky without having to leave the ground. What problems would you want them to solve? What rules would you want in place so airborne devices remained a help not a hindrance?

These are big questions but UK cities are rising to the challenge. Flying High, led by Nesta's Challenge Prize Centre in partnership with Innovate UK, is here to help. We're supporting five cities as they bring together local citizens, public services, businesses, regulators and technology teams to make drones work for the common good. Get a glimpse of the future and get involved.

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The Cities





West Midlands

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Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency. Innovate UK drives productivity and growth by supporting businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.


Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time.

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