At the EUROPEAN DRONE FORUM (EDF) 2023, Messe Düsseldorf, the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and UAV DACH signed a cooperation agreement. The two industry associations will become partners of the new trade show XPONENTIAL Europe, which will be held annually in Düsseldorf starting in 2025 as the European industry meeting place for uncrewed and autonomous systems and robotics.
In May 2023, Messe Düsseldorf North America and AUVSI co-hosted the leading international industry trade show XPONENTIAL in Denver, Colorado for the first time, which saw a 65% increase in international attendees compared to the previous year. The expansion to Europe is next, and Messe Düsseldorf and AUVSI were able to gain UAV DACH as an additional partner to take that step. Concurrently with XPONENTIAL Europe, UAV DACH’s EDF will be held for the first time at Messe Düsseldorf from February 18 to 20, 2025.
Wolfram N. Diener, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, emphasizes the importance of this partnership: “The cooperation with AUVSI and UAV DACH proves that XPONENTIAL Europe is experiencing strong support from the industry. With the EUROPEAN DRONE FORUM, Messe Düsseldorf adds another strong event for uncrewed systems, which will make XPONENTIAL Europe an even more relevant industry meeting place while further strengthening Düsseldorf as a future- and mobility-oriented destination.”
An advocate for uncrewed aviation for more than 20 years, UAV DACH promotes the development and operation of uncrewed aerial vehicles in Europe. The association also regularly organizes professional meetings and conferences such as the EDF. Since 2017, the forum has been one of the uncrewed aviation industry’s highlight events on the European continent, a place where experts from the drone sector and from politics and business meet to exchange views on current industry topics and trends. After taking place in Cologne for the sixth time this year, the EDF is moving to Düsseldorf. In 2024, the event, which is usually held in the fall, will take a break before being held concurrently with XPONENTIAL Europe starting in 2025.
Comprehensive industry platform
Dr. Gerald Wissel, Chairman of the Board of UAV DACH, believes in the cooperation with Messe Düsseldorf and AUVSI: “The combination of the established EDF with the new XPONENTIAL Europe holds incredible potential. It creates a comprehensive, strong industry meeting place that covers all the needs of the industry: to showcase innovations, get in contact with customers, exchange views between industry, science and politics, and to transfer knowledge. Information and networking are not only essential to the future of the drone economy, they are also key pillars of our association activities.” The global civil drone market is expected to grow to $55.8 billion by 2030 – up 82 percent from $30.6 billion in 2022. At that time, Europe is expected to rank second worldwide after Asia and ahead of North America.
Brian Wynne, President & CEO of AUVSI, sees XPONENTIAL Europe and the partnership with UAV DACH as the best way to further fuel this growth: “With XPONENTIAL Europe, we can convene policymakers and the public in one location to learn more about our industry and the challenges we face. Clearly, this includes the need to align uncrewed aviation standards in Europe, North America and our global allies. Doing that will break down barriers for international competition and accelerate the continued successful promotion of the technology."
Positive effects on other trade shows and industries
Malte Seifert, Director XPONENTIAL Europe, welcomes the industry's backing of the new platform: “The cooperation lays the foundation for a successful premiere of XPONENTIAL Europe in Düsseldorf. Also contributing to this success will be our parallel retail technology trade show EuroCIS, which offers numerous links to XPONENTIAL Europe in the area of 'Last Mile Delivery'.” For example, the global market volume of drone package deliveries is expected to skyrocket from $528 million in 2022 to around $39 billion in 2030. Other leading Messe Düsseldorf trade shows are also expected to benefit from the technological developments in this sector, which means they themselves serve as a potential target group.
XPONENTIAL Europe 2025 will take place in Hall 1, the newest and most modern location of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Center with a direct connection to the Convention Center Düsseldorf (CCD). The trade show and the EDF will further strengthen Düsseldorf as a destination for the mobility of the future. Renowned companies and startups in Düsseldorf have already committed to taking on this topic. What’s more, momentum is building for research projects in Düsseldorf’s urban traffic that, like KoMoD (Cooperative Mobility in the Digital Test Field Düsseldorf) and KoMoDnext, are aimed at testing communication between autonomous vehicles and traffic infrastructure. In addition, numerous other projects in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are looking at autonomous mobility on the road, rails and water.