Five Pioneers In Innovative Philanthropy Honored By 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award


Five Pioneers In Innovative Philanthropy Honored By 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award

DJI Sponsors Award For Drone Missions That Save People, Animals And The Environment

Five winners of the second annual XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award were recognized Thursday as pioneers in using drones for good. DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, sponsored the award and helped announce the winners at the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL conference at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“We’ve seen an expanding implementation of drone technology in the past year, from locating humans lost under cluttered forest canopies, to dropping critical medications in Africa, Oceania and Latin America, to enabling students to program drones and fly autonomous missions,” said Mario Rebello, Country Manager for North America and Vice President of the Americas at DJI. “These innovators are a true proof of drone innovation driven not just by the technology itself, but by its users. We are thrilled to see drones embraced widely across an expanding range of industries, and we hope the award will inspire more drone operators around the world to accomplish great feats in their own communities.”

The 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award saw a significant number of participants providing profound, powerful insight into how drone technology can be implemented in different areas. Among them, the five winners were most notable for their works in disaster relief and public safety, education and training, firefighting, wildlife conservation, and ecosystem solutions. The winners are:

  • North Carolina Department of Transportation – Using drones in an innovative response to Hurricane Florence (United States)
  • Swoop Aero – Vaccine and health supply delivery on the island nation of Vanuatu (Vanuatu)
  • NASA/MIT Search and Rescue Under the Canopy (SARUC) – Locating people and other important targets lost in challenging and cluttered forest areas (United States)
  • Project Lifesaver International – Search and rescue for ‘at risk’ individuals who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering (United States)
  • Zipline International – Medical drone delivery operations in Africa (Rwanda and Ghana)

"The Humanitarian Awards demonstrate the profound ability of the recipients to positively impact lives through unmanned systems technology,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. "We proudly recognize the five winners and hope their accomplishments will serve as an inspiration to utilize unmanned aircraft systems to accomplish remarkable achievements for our society.”

The five organizations will each receive a $5,000 USD donation for their ground-breaking humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.