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All news, insights and events

Nordluft takes in new capital from Södra Ädla and EIT InnoEnergy for precision spreading in forestry

The Swedish startup Nordluft advances sustainable forest management with its innovative drone technology, which offers a unique solution for forest fertilisation and the spreading of bioash within the forestry sector. This technology not only enhances efficiency, flexibility and precision but also holds the potential for substantial cost reductions. Looking ahead, the technology promises significant opportunities in agriculture as well. To further this advancement, Nordluft is currently securing new financing from Södra Ädla and EIT InnoEnergy.

New capital taking Nordluft’s solution closer to commercialisation

Nordluft has previously demonstrated the viability of its concept through various prototypes and is now raising additional capital to continue its journey towards a fully market-ready product. This funding will support the acquisition of necessary flight permits and facilitate the commercialisation of their technology to a larger market, particularly targeting the Nordic forestry sector. The latest investment round is led by Södra‘s subsidiary, Södra Ädla, and EIT InnoEnergy who has been supported the company since 2018. Södra is Sweden’s largest forest owners association and an international forest industry group where operations are based on the processing of members forest raw material.

Elof Winroth, founder and CEO of Nordluft, says:

“The use of drones is widespread in many areas within our society, yet their potential in more tangible tasks within forestry and agriculture applications remains largely untapped. This is the gap our solution addresses. Drone-based deployment allows for access to any terrain, regardless of soil bearing capacity. Moreover, we anticipate that our technology could significantly reduce spreading costs in the long term—by more than 50 percent compared to current methods.”


Further commenting on the investments, he adds: “We are thrilled that Södra, Sweden’s largest forest owners’ association, has shown such strong confidence in Nordluft’s concept by choosing to invest through its subsidiary, Södra Ädla. Södra’s extensive network of forest owners and industry connections significantly strengthens our market position. We are also proud and grateful to receive continued support from the leading investor in sustainable energy EIT InnoEnergy, whose vast network can help us reach markets across Europe and beyond.”

Significant benefits in drone-based ash spreading for forest management

Until now, effective drone solutions for fertilising or returning bioash to the forest soil have been lacking. Traditionally, the sector has relied on helicopters, tractors or converted forestry machines for spreading both fertilisers and ash, which incurs high costs in terms of machinery, personnel, and transport, while resulting in less precision. Drone-based solutions, however, enhances the ability to spread ashes over even small areas without harming the forest. It offers access to any terrain, regardless of the soil’s bearing capacity, and eliminates the need for constructing access roads.

Erik Bengtsson, Investment Manager at Södra Ädla, says:

“Increased ash recycling helps maintain the nutrient balance in forests post-thinning and facilitates enhanced carbon sequestration and forest growth, potentially increasing by 10-20 percent on lands with a good nitrogen balance. This investment represents another step towards smarter and more circular forestry.”

Sara Hjortmar, Investment Manager at EIT InnoEnergy Scandinavia, comments:

“Nordluft has demonstrated significant progress since our initial support. We are excited to reaffirm our commitment to Nordluft and continue backing their journey towards commercialisation. Their innovative product holds substantial promise in both the forestry and energy sectors. Besides, with Södra potentially becoming a key future client for Nordluft, we are delighted to welcome them as a new investor and strategic partner.”

About Nordluft’s high capacity drone-based spreading system

Nordluft’s innovative solution includes a fleet of autonomously operating drones, a proprietary control system, and a base station housed in a converted truck that provides ample cargo space for efficient logistics. The drones, loaded with bioash, fertiliser, or other materials from the truck, deploy in groups to distribute their loads over the surrounding areas.


This system offers several advantages over existing methods. It reduces the need for multiple vehicles and operators, making it especially cost-effective for owners of smaller forest plots. The drones can precisely target very small areas, even individual trees, and adjust the quantity of materials spread based on specific environmental conditions (ie: extra dry or wet areas). Besides forestry application, there is a large potential to enhance productivity and decrease the reliance on chemical inputs in agriculture.