Innovation Project Demonstrates Great Potential for Drone Inspection and Establishes a New SME

7. August 2023

More efficient and improved inspection of large structures, and a startup that has just hired its fourth employee. The innovation project Quali Drone has produced strong results.

It’s not just the drones in the innovation project Quali Drone that are taking to the skies to inspect large structures for the wind industry.

The startup company Quali Drone, which emerged from the project, is also soaring high – owner and director Jesper Smit has just hired his fourth employee in the company, which specializes in autonomous drone inspection:

“The project has shown potential in offshore wind, which we originally focused on. But there’s also interest from the rest of the energy sector in what we can do, and the project has received inquiries from other industries where high-altitude inspection is a challenge,” he says.

New Perspectives

For the project partner Zebicon, which has provided industrial measurement technology for the innovation project, CEO Jeppe Hebsgaard Laursen sees significant potential:

“We have confirmed that there is a major safety perspective and business potential in the project. We have established a workflow where we have been able to solve the challenges, and we can see that within a few years, we will have a strong product on the market. We believe that together with Quali Drone, we can become market leaders in this area, and we believe that this collaboration can open up an entirely new wing for us as a company,” he says.

Similarly, another SME in the project, Desupervised, has contributed by developing the AI algorithm for the project, and COO Jens Skoustrup-Jacobsen sees strong opportunities:

“It will develop our company because we now have both the knowledge and something practically applicable that can be used in other solutions. This can bring value in both the short and long term for the company,” he says.

Potential for Further Research

The companies’ positive future expectations please project director Christian Boysen from Energy Cluster Denmark. He describes the project as ‘a textbook example’ of how clusters can elevate good ideas to in-demand solutions for specific challenges up the TRL ladder:

“Bladt Industries formulated a specific challenge; we invited SMEs and DTU Wind to join and share good ideas; we conducted a proof of concept in a quick regional fund project and found that there was indeed potential to save quite a bit by solving the task with drones instead of manually,” says Christian Boysen.

“Now the project has demonstrated a solution that makes it possible to replace heavy, manual processes and make it faster and cheaper. A new company has been created, and there are strong perspectives for two existing companies. This is quite optimal,” he says.

Although a successful conclusion has been reached for the project, DTU Wind still sees many possibilities in building on the knowledge gained from participating:

“The project has confirmed that there are so many opportunities in these technologies – now and in the future. It generates a lot of new ideas for new things we can use it for,” says Kim Branner, Head of Section Structural Design & Testing.

“The perspectives in digitalization in the energy sector are enormous, and we have only just scratched the surface. There’s plenty of reason to continue working on this,” he says.

Facts: The Quali Drone Innovation Project


  • Bladt Industries A/S
  • Quali Drone ApS
  • Zebicon A/S
  • Desupervised ApS
  • DTU Vind Energi
  • Energy Cluster Denmark

Project Period

Maj 2019 – december 2022


14,4 mio. kr.

Supported by

EU’s Regionalfond
Region Midtjylland