HHLA Sky wins German Innovation Award 2022

Outstanding Innovation Performance

HHLA Sky received a German Innovation Award for outstanding innovation performance in the special category “#W2 Excellence in Business to Business – Aviation & Maritime Technologies”. The award was presented for HHLA Sky's process integrated control centre. It is process management software that can actively manage and monitor more than 100 automated drones or mobile robots simultaneously – outside the range of vision of the operator in the control centre at locations around the globe. This solution convinced the jurors in terms of innovation, user benefits and economic efficiency.

“The Drone Control Centre from HHLA Sky was outstanding in several respects ... It is a modern and well-designed comprehensive solution.”
Jury of the German Innovation Award

The Jury's Statement

The German Innovation Award is presented by the German Design Council. It is the second award to HHLA Sky after winning last year’s Deutsche Innovationspreis.

The jury of the German Innovation Award selected the winner. They justified their vote as follows: “The Drone Control Centre from HHLA Sky was outstanding in several respects: Not only does the software platform, which can be integrated into the given infrastructure and process landscape, enable the simultaneous control of up to 100 drones at different locations. Apart from flight management, the system can also clearly and simply map the entire process via planning, dispatching and the provision of data. Additionally, it functions with a minimum of human resources. It is a modern and well-designed comprehensive solution.”

Matthias Gronstedt and Lothar Müller, Managing Directors of HHLA Sky, had the honour of accepting this special award on 24 May in Futurium, the museum of the future, in Berlin.

Focus on Mobile Robot Management

“The focus is on Mobile Robot Management: our integrated control centre manages and monitors airborne robots and autonomous vehicles in a fundamentally efficient way. That's what makes it so special,” Matthias Gronstedt is pleased to say and explains: “Our software maps the entire process chain automatically. All you need to do is press a button. This unleashes gigantic optimisation potential. For instance, think of regular inspection flights for huge industrial plants or bridge inspections with drones without holding up traffic. Or imagine flying couriers for emergency rescue services and robot assistance for challenging firefighting missions or civil protection. This will now be possible to implement on a broad scale. Because it is so easy.”

“Innovation is Strategy”

“Innovation is strategy,” affirms Lothar Müller. “Only by implementing consistent innovation management, were we able to get from the idea to the product, which is the first of its kind in the world to make simultaneous automated drone flights, but also makes safe and controlled AGV and AMR journeys possible.” Müller adds: “However, you also need an exceptional team, like the one we have at HHLA Sky and our partners, which pools different disciplines and is a source of mutual inspiration.” Only once this teamwork, know-how and commitment was in place, did it lead to the exceptional result.

Müller and Gronstedt agree: “We are ready for take-off – and so are our clients.” The first U-space, a special airspace for drones, will soon be established in Germany. This will open up the third dimension for automated drone services in industry and society.

Read more: HHLA Sky has also won the "Deutscher Innovationspreis" (German Innovation Award), presented by WirtschaftsWoche, Accenture and EnBW.