World leader per Capita in the field of drones, with a market worth 425 million Swiss francs

The Swiss Drone Industry Report 2024

DIAS, the Drone Industry Association Switzerland, in collaboration with Drone Industry Insights UG, releases today its complete 2024 report on the Swiss drone industry. The study reveals substantial growth and global leadership, the result of cutting-edge technology and expanding market development.

Zürich, Switzerland – June 12th 2024 – The Swiss drone market achieved a significant milestone with a turnover of CHF 425 million, solidifying the country’s status as a frontrunner in the industry. The export of Swiss products and services has seen a notable increase, rising to 55% from 45% in 2021. Swiss companies specializing in hardware (91%) and software (87%) derive the majority of their revenue from international markets. In order to cater to the demands of the local drone market, Switzerland relies heavily on imports, especially in the hardware sector.

This year, Switzerland continues to uphold its status as the global leader in the drone market per capita. A comprehensive analysis of data from more than 180 countries has enabled the ranking of the largest commercial drone markets in both Europe and worldwide, revealing that the top three countries collectively contribute to over half of the total commercial market. In terms of absolute figures, Switzerland ranks as the fifth largest commercial market in Europe and the twelfth largest in the world.

A favorable environment for investment

The Swiss ecosystem remains highly supportive of early-stage investments, which play a vital role in fostering growth and innovation within the drone sector. Switzerland boasts an investment landscape that is particularly favorable for seed and early-stage funding, actively fueling innovation and advancement in drone technology. This advantageous environment serves as a key driver for numerous Swiss start-ups to pioneer cutting-edge solutions, enhancing the global renown of the “Swiss-made” label synonymous with top-tier technology and unparalleled quality.

Despite the promising start, Swiss drone companies are encountering escalating challenges posed by evolving regulations, underscoring the importance of continuous adaptation and constructive dialogue between industry players and regulatory bodies to sustain competitiveness. While Swiss drone firms benefit from exceptional geographical conditions and privileged access to skilled talent, reinforced by robust governmental backing for innovation, the implementation of new EU regulations has raised the bar compared to 2021, intensifying compliance demands and creating hurdles for companies seeking streamlined processes. Moreover, restricted access to late-stage funding and fluctuations in the Swiss franc’s value further squeeze export margins. Nevertheless, government initiatives within the sector are poised to bridge this funding gap, particularly in fields like emergency response and surveillance. It is worth noting that the uptick in administrative obligations also brings forth a proliferation of opportunities alongside the challenges faced by companies.

Our thanks go to Innovaud, Innovation Zürich, the Bern Economic Development Agency, Switzerland Global Enterprise and the Greater Zürich Area for their support of this study.

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