Urban air operations

Exploring the DACH Regional Drone Market

Thursday, 19 October 2023

The DACH region is composed of German-speaking countries with overlapping cultures and history: Germany (DE), Austria (A), and Switzerland (CH). In this particular region, the drone market has gained recognition as a promising hub within the global drone industry. The following is a glimpse into this market, based on data from Drone Industry Insights’ most recent drone industry survey.

With 101.72 million people in an area of 482,170 square kilometers, the DACH region's diverse geography, featuring mountains and lakes, provides not only scenic opportunities for drone applications but also a unique setting for the implementation of delivery drones. In terms of real GDP, the economies of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria globally rank in 5th 35th, and 44th place respectively. Yet when it comes to GDP per capita, these nations all secure positions within the global top 30. All of this reflects a substantial capacity for investment in drone technology.

A Market for All Industry Segments

The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in the DACH region, with over 75% of companies employing fewer than 50 individuals. This startup culture extends to various sectors, including the drone industry, where 52% of drone companies are small-scale enterprises of 1-10 employees, and an additional 24% have 11-50 employees.

In comparison to other countries, the DACH region maintains a harmonious balance between drone hardware, software, and service providers, reducing dependence on imports. There are 30% of companies functioning as Drone Service Providers, 15% as Software Manufacturers, and 14% as Hardware Manufacturers. Additionally, the "Other" category comprises 19% of the sector, encompassing consulting, research, and media companies, alongside activities in areas like Engineering & Integration (8%), Components & Systems (7%), and Training & Education (5%).

Priorities and Challenges in the DACH Region

The priorities of the DACH regional drone market are in alignment with its market composition. Marketing & sales rank highest, followed by software development and hardware development, reflecting the predominant activities within the region. Key drivers for this market include drone manufacturers, regulatory authorities, and Drone Service Providers/operators.

However, the subject of regulation is a notable challenge. Drone companies in the DACH region consider regulation to be the second most significant industry challenge, following domestic politics. Concerns include a lack of standardization, slow approval processes, and a generally negative perception of regulatory developments.

Despite the challenges posed by regulations, drone companies in the DACH region maintain a cautiously optimistic outlook. They exhibit slightly higher optimism than their global counterparts, with a rating of 6.9 compared to the global score of 6.6. This growing optimism since 2022 (when it stood at 6.0) reflects a positive trajectory and a strong commitment to innovation within all three countries.


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