Silesia aiming to be Poland’s Silicon Valley for drones

Silesia, once the industrial centre of Poland, is now hoping to become the Polish Silicone Valley for drones. The Upper Silesian Metropolis/Górnośląsko - Zagłębiowska Metropolia (USM/GZM), officially operating since the beginning of the year, has launched a programme to develop the region into a centre of technology.

The Upper Silesian Metropolis (USM) is the first metropolis in Poland to have been established by the Act of the Metropolitan Union in the Silesian Province. It comprises 41 towns and communities, which have joined the USM voluntarily. The Metropolis counts as many as 2.3 million inhabitants.

In the next weeks, a special agreement including the Civil Aviation Office and the Polish Aviation Service is expected to be signed, marking a major step towards making the big plans become a reality.

“We want to develop this business, attract capital and human resources here. We intend to create the best conditions for the development and implementation of drone technology,” Kazimierz Karolczak, the chairman of the board of USM said.

These plans include creating test areas for the technologies, the implementation of procedures for performance and safety testing, as well as a build-up of skills in the service and maintenance of drones.

And, there’s a specific reason for this to be happening in Silesia, says Karolczak.

“The Upper Silesian Metropolitan Area is one of the most urbanised areas in Central Europe. Urban development, a dense road, rail and power lines network and sufficiently long distances within the Metropolis borders make it the best place to test this technology, develop standards for the use of these types of services, and develop organisational and legal solutions that can be applied throughout Poland and even Europe,” he said.

Silesian local governments are interested in using this technology to improve the quality of life: e.g. to monitor critical infrastructure, air quality, support land inventories, spatial planning and public safety. Drones can also be used in all kinds of rescue operations, like the immediate transport of transfusion blood, in congested towns and cities, or to monitor mass events.