A new facility for autonomous drone developer Flare Bright was unveiled by Greg Smith, MP for Buckingham at Westcott today (20th September).
During the visit MP Greg Smith witnessed the company’s newly developed SnapShot drone technology, a micro-drone designed to capture instant aerial images in wind, adverse weather and constrained aerospace.
Earlier this year Flare Bright won an Entrepreneur Award, nominated by Greg Smith and supported by Octopus Group, the energy and financial services firm.
Flare Bright has since won a UK MOD Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) follow-up contract. This project will deliver a fixed wing drone that can fly without GPS or any remote-control, when other drones are unflyable due to jamming and denial. This latest contract of £425,391 lasts for 13 months and follows on from the completion of an initial £226,500 contract that successfully concluded in April 2021.
The company has also been selected for the prestigious United States Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE).
Flare Bright moved to Westcott last year on the back of a £226,000 Ministry of Defence contract. It started with four staff and now employs fourteen people with the new facility accommodating this growth.
Chris Daniels, Chief Commercial Officer at Flare Bright, said: "Being at Westcott and in Buckinghamshire has been great for Flare Bright. As we further grow our workforce, it is perfectly placed to attract talent to work here, and the facilities at Westcott are second to none. We're delighted with our new building and excited about the future growth opportunities it gives us."
Jayne Cannell, Westcott Business Park Manager, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Buckingham MP Greg Smith to Westcott today and we are delighted to have been able to provide more space at the Park to Flare Bright."
Developed using artificial intelligence, Flare Bright’s SnapShot technology is a fully autonomous system and will glide back to its user even without a GPS signal and in electromagnetically jammed environments.
Commenting, Greg said, "I was thrilled to open this new building today. Flare Bright have grown their business brilliantly. In May, I congratulated Flare Bright on being named as a winner of Entrepreneur Awards launched by Octopus Group’s Springboard initiative.
"Over the past year Flare Bright has tripled their employees, hiring graduates, juniors and apprentices, many of whom either live in the local area or have relocated to the area. To accommodate their rapid expansion, they have moved to a larger building in Westcott Venture Park, a hub for innovation set in Buckinghamshire. To expand to a larger centre for research and innovation in lockdown is a real triumph.
"The challenging conditions presented by the pandemic have brought out the very best from entrepreneurs right across the UK. As the UK looks to build back better through 2021 and beyond, small businesses like Flare Bright will be vital to create the jobs that will be needed."