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Coming Soon! New Challenge to Fund Local Innovators with Support from Omidyar Network

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April 23rd, 2019

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It's Not About the Robots"It's not about the robots."

We say this often, and we'll say it again: "It's not about the robots."

While drones get all the hype in the news, we know full well from firsthand experience with Flying Labs in more than 22 countries that successful use of drones relies on much more than the technology itself. Understanding the data that drones collect and empowering communities to use it, particularly in emerging economies, are often the most pressing challenges when it comes to increasing the use of drones for positive social impact. Far too often, the communities that could benefit the most from drones lack the resources necessary to realize the full added value of this powerful technology.

That is why we're very pleased to announce that WeRobotics and Omidyar Network will soon launch a new innovation challenge aimed at catalyzing locally-driven solutions that use drones to create shared value and prosperity for local communities. We hope to receive a wide range of applications from early-stage innovators focused on data and AI tools for accessible and affordable drone data analysis, actionable insights that allow to bridge the last data mile as well as practical solutions that address ethics. We strongly believe that social challenges are best solved by the people most affected, and that many local innovations can become future global solutions.

"While drones get all the hype in the news, we know full well from firsthand experience with Flying Labs in more than 22 countries that successful use of drones relies on much more than the technology itself."

With a deep understanding of how geospatial data and analysis can benefit local communities, Omidyar Network will help us approach this challenge in an entirely new way that directly complements the mission of WeRobotics and the Flying Labs Network. Through this challenge, we look to uncover solutions that are fully inclusive of the communities they intend to benefit and address clearly-defined local problems.

We are very grateful to Omidyar Network for giving us the opportunity to help create the much-needed enabling environment for a sustainable and economically viable social drone and data sector in emerging economies.

Stay tuned: we will announce the full details of the challenge, including how to apply, in June.

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