The National Aeronautical Centre was launched yesterday at the Farnborough air show in a bid to place the UK at the forefront of the global Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) market.
The NAC will be centred about West Wales Airport (WWA), which is owned by the Mann Organisation.
The idea behind the NAC is to offer companies a platform where they can exchange ideas and create cutting edge products and technologies in a suitable environment.
It will act as a forum where operators can build confidence with the regulatory authorities when producing new UAS products to enter the market.
The NAC also aims to expand the capabilities of existing WWA tenants, which includes the development of the first major military development programme to be conducted at a private site, the MoD’s “watchkeeper” programme.
US analysts WinterGreen Research have forecast the global UAS market to be worth $51bn (£32.8bn) by 2020.
Ray Mann, managing director of the Mann Organisation, said: “By stimulating the UK’s capability in aeronautical development, the NAC provides the means to deliver technologies that will benefit both manned and unmanned aviation.
“The MoD needs this, the industry needs this, and the UK needs this,” he added.