2023 Year in Review

Monterey Bay DART Year in Review: Soaring High in 2023!

2023 Year in Review

As we bid farewell to another remarkable year, we want to express our sincere gratitude for being part of the Monterey Bay Drone, Automation, and Robotics Technology (DART) community. It has been a year filled with innovation, growth, and exciting developments, and we’re thrilled to share our Year in Review with you.

A Year of Achievements:

  • In October, Monterey Bay DART and CSUMB secured a $1.95 million grant from the James Irvine Foundation. This funding will build on our momentum, expanding the DART-Joby Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program (AMAP), launching the DART-FarmNG AMAP, strengthening partnerships with CBOs, and enhancing DART’s organizational capacity. 

Highlighting Key Projects:

  • Monterey Bay DART, in partnership with the Hatamiya Group, is finalizing a Feasibility Study which assessed the demand for a Regional Workforce Training Center focused on preparing the local workforce for the jobs of the future in advanced manufacturing, drones, automation, and robotics technology. Expected completion in Q1 2024.
  • The CITRIS Center for Drone Education and Research (CIDER) at UC Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay DART are continuing to make significant progress on our collaborative DART Workforce Skills Demand Study. This study is actively assessing the current and future workforce skills demand for the use of drones in agriculture, infrastructure inspection, construction monitoring, and related fields within the tri-county region. Expected completion in Q2 2024.
  • In June, Monterey Bay DART supported the planning, marketing and implementation of the UCANR Drone Camp at CSUMB, including 8 Drone Camp scholarships in partnership with Building Healthy Communities in Seaside. The UCANR Drone Camp celebrated its 6th year in Monterey acknowledging DART’s instrumental role in facilitating the UCANR and CSUMB collaboration.

Community Collaboration:

Our thriving community is at the heart of everything we do. This year, we’ve fostered even stronger partnerships and collaborations. Together, we’ve shared insights, exchanged ideas, and collectively worked towards shaping the future of community and economic development in our region.

  • In November, the Monterey Bay Joby Aviation Working Group celebrated Joby Aviation’s $9.8M Cal Competes Grant to expand their facility at Marina Airport. This award will leverage a $41.3 million investment by Joby, creating 690 full-time jobs statewide by 2027. Locally, this will open hundreds of job opportunities, building on the DART-Joby Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship pilot program.
  • In March, Monterey Bay DART hosted a delegation from the Kern Career Technical Education Campus (CTEC). Participants from Monterey Bay included Cabrillo College, UCSC, CSUMB, Monterey County, Learning For Life Charter School, MBEP, and Joby Aviation.
  • Additionally, DART was represented at the following community outreach events during the past year:
    • Black August 2023
    • Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce – Economic Vitality Committee
    • California Special Districts Association Annual Meeting
    • EDGE Collaborative iHub Convening, Manteca
    • ChicoStart – North State Familiarity Tour
    • SIEDI Annual Convening 2023 
    • MBEP State of the Region 2023 
    • CALED Annual Conference, Los Angeles 2023
    • DOT Inter-Agency Working Group on Advanced Air Mobility, October 2023

Industry Events and Engagements:

Looking Ahead to 2024:

As we embark on a new year, Monterey Bay DART is committed to exploring new frontiers and continuing to lead the way in the ever-evolving landscape of drone, automation, and robotics technology.

Thank You for Your Support:

None of our achievements would be possible without the unwavering support of our community, partners, and stakeholders. As we reflect on the past year, we’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Stay tuned for more exciting developments, projects, and collaborations in 2024!

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

The Monterey Bay Joby Aviation Working Group Celebrates $9.8M CalCompetes Award to Joby Aviation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 17, 2023

Marina will see hundreds of jobs, expanded investment in manufacturing 

Marina, CA – The Monterey Bay Joby Aviation Working Group is celebrating the $9.8M Cal Competes grant awarded to Joby Aviation to enable the manufacturing, maintenance and pilot training facility expansion at the Marina Municipal Airport in Central California. This transformative award will leverage an additional $41.3 million investment by Joby and hiring of 690 full time jobs throughout the state by 2027. Locally, hundreds of new job opportunities will be open to workers in our region building upon the DART-Joby Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship pilot program. 

“This grant to Joby for their planned manufacturing expansion in Marina affirms California’s commitment to build the future of advanced air mobility through a partnership with government, community, and industry, which I like to describe as the Marina Way,” said State Senator Anna M. Caballero, author of SB800 to create the regulatory framework for advanced air mobility. 

The State’s $9.8M investment leverages the dedication and persistence of the Working Group, who met regularly over the past year, in collaboration with State officials, elected representatives and community-based organizations to support Joby’s expansion in Marina. During the CalCompetes Committee hearing, Maria Elena Manzo, Project Director of Mujeres en Accion, stood alongside Joby CFO Matt Feld, in front of an aircraft under construction to represent the model of inclusive economic development that centers community and access to high-road jobs envisioned by Governor Newsom for a sustainable and equitable recovery from the pandemic while transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy. 

Bruce Delgado, Mayor of Marina, stated, “Marina is excited that, with this CalCompetes grant, Joby will be able to expand their production capabilities at our Marina Municipal Airport, creating hundreds of new, local jobs. The funding will also support Joby in expanding their research and development hub here in Marina and continue their success as a leader in the eVTOL industry.”

The planned expansion at the Marina Municipal Airport is “shovel ready” because of the constant collaboration among the Working Group to collectively problem solve and remove barriers as Joby pursued necessary approvals, power upgrades and planning requirements. Josh Metz, of Monterey Bay DART, who coordinated the Working Group highlighted, “This was truly a team effort. We are excited to see how the new facilities and workforce demand will increase aerospace career pathway opportunities for Salinas and Pajaro Valley residents and anchor the emerging climate-smart, aviation and robotics technology ecosystem on the Central Coast. This is a big win for our region that will inspire more opportunities ahead.”

The Monterey Bay Joby Aviation Working Group includes: the Monterey Bay Drone Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative, the Salinas Inclusive Economic Development Initiative (SIEDI), the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), the City of Marina, Monterey County, CSU Monterey Bay, UC Santa Cruz, PG&E, Central Coast Clean Energy, the Office of Senator Anna Caballero, Senator John Laird, Senator Dawn Addis, and Congressman Panetta. 

State Senator John Laird, District 17: “Joby has been at the forefront of pioneering the evolution towards environmentally sustainable air transportation. They exemplify the California spirit through their unwavering diligence and tenacity. I am genuinely privileged to host not only their manufacturing facility in Marina, but also their headquarters in Santa Cruz within the bounds of my Senate District. The achievements enabled by this grant promise to positively catalyze our communities throughout the Monterey Bay region.” 

Sonia M. De La Rosa, County Administrative Officer, County of Monterey: “Joby Aviation’s groundbreaking strides in environmentally sustainable air transportation resonate deeply with Monterey County’s ethos. Hosting their manufacturing hub in the City of Marina, Monterey County is a true privilege. This grant signifies a pivotal turning point, igniting a wave of positive impact throughout the Monterey Bay region. It stands as a testament to our collective dedication, uniting diverse organizations, leaders, and communities in advancing our shared vision for inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability. The County of Monterey stands firmly behind Joby’s expansion within our region, continuing our unwavering support as they pioneer sustainable aviation technology, fostering growth, and aligning with our commitment to a greener, more prosperous future.” 

President Vanya Quiñones, Cal State Monterey Bay: “Cal State Monterey Bay is excited by the opportunities this new grant brings for creating new career pathways for students within our university. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Joby Aviation and DART, especially as we launch our new College of Science mechatronics engineering program and continue the work of our College of Business Institute of Innovation and Economic Development.”

Larry Samuels, Strategic Advisor to the Chancellor, UC Santa Cruz: “Joby’s Marina expansion recognizes the unique workforce opportunities in the Greater Salinas MSA. We are enthusiastic about the potential of creating an Advanced Air Mobility Tech Hub in the region and Joby’s support and leadership towards that vision is to be commended.”

Tahra Goraya, President & CEO MBEP: “Joby’s visionary clean-energy aircraft technology is having a transformative influence on the way we think about transportation while creating sustainable, high-skilled jobs that are reinvigorating our regional economy. We’re thrilled to partner with Joby as it continues to expand.”

Barbara Meister, Salinas Inclusive Economic Development Initiative (SIEDI): “This is what inclusive economic development looks and feels like. The DART-Joby apprenticeship is proof that the Salinas Valley, despite its challenges, has motivated workers ready to contribute to an innovative company like Joby and share in the economic benefits of its success. SIEDI organizations are working on a robust workforce development strategy and persevering on the issues of housing, childcare, education and digital access, foundational to a thriving and equitable economy that serves all of us.” 

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About Monterey Bay DART Initiative

The Monterey Bay Drone, Automation, and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative is a pioneering nonprofit organization committed to fostering innovation and creating high-road career pathways in the fields of drone, automation, and robotics technology. Through strategic partnerships, community engagement, and educational programs, we aim to empower underserved communities and drive inclusive economic growth in the Monterey Bay region.

About the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP)

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is a regional member-supported nonprofit organization consisting of public, private, and civic entities located throughout the counties of Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz. Founded in 2015, our mission is to improve the economic health and quality of life in the region.

About Cal State Monterey Bay

Cal State Monterey Bay is a mid-size residential campus that provides more than 7,500 students an extraordinary opportunity to learn in an inspiring coastal environment just one mile from the shores of the beautiful Monterey Bay. Our diverse student body receives personal attention in small classes while pursuing degrees in 25 undergraduate and 9 graduate majors.

About the Salinas Inclusive Economic Development Initiative (SIEDI)

SIEDI is composed of 9 community-based organizations, with deep roots and connections in the Salinas Valley community. With funding from the James Irvine Foundation in partnership with the Community Foundation for Monterey County, the initiative is building the capacity of these nonprofits to influence inclusive recovery and economic development, especially those related to the preservation and creation of quality, family-sustaining jobs.

About the University of California, Santa CruzA global research university, UC Santa Cruz is part of the world’s most celebrated system of public higher education and stands among the most renowned institutions of higher learning. Leading at the intersection of innovation and social justice, UC Santa Cruz faculty and students conduct transformative research and scholarship that serves society. Undergraduate students experience a small liberal arts college environment with the depth and rigor of a major research university through the pairing of high-impact research with 10 tight-knit residential colleges – a rare combination among U.S. public universities. UC Santa Cruz shares the distinction of being the youngest member of the Association of American Universities and one of only five members that is both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions.

2023 Monterey Bay DART Symposium Unites Industry, Academia, Government and Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Marina, CA, November 7, 2023 – The 2023 DART Symposium, held at the CSUMB University Center from October 11th to October 13th, concluded successfully, marking a milestone event in the world of Advanced Air Mobility, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Agricultural Technology, and Inclusive Economic Development. With a diverse range of insightful discussions, workshops, and notable speakers, the symposium lived up to its promise of facilitating collaboration, knowledge sharing, and inclusive cross-sector engagement.

**Day 1 – Community Integration**

The first day of the symposium kicked off with an enlightening Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Short-Course, hosted by the Community Air Mobility Initiative. This workshop provided state and local decision-makers, agency staff, urban and transportation planners, and interested individuals with a comprehensive introduction to the emerging world of advanced air mobility.

Symposium participants had the exclusive opportunity to join the Joby Aviation at Marina tour, gaining a behind-the-scenes look at Joby Aviation’s advanced manufacturing facilities at the Marina Municipal Airport.

At lunch, Josh Metz, Executive Director of MBDART, and Ken Smith, Lead Organizer of the Salinas Inclusive Economic Development Initiative, extended a warm welcome to all attendees. Senator Anna Caballero, California State Senate District 14,  shared her insights on the importance of AAM to the California economy and to the Salinas Valley workforce.

In the afternoon, the Community Integration – Economic & Workforce Development Workshop brought together various stakeholders to discuss economic and workforce development opportunities and challenges related to advanced air mobility and agricultural technology adoption. The day concluded with the Airspace Integration Corridors & Central Coast Flight Information Exchange Workshop, exploring the potential for establishing safe and secure UAS integration corridors in California.

**Day 2 – AAM & UAS Economic Development Opportunities**

The second day commenced with a hearty breakfast and registration, followed by welcoming remarks by CSUMB College of Business Dean, Dr. Marylou Shockley. Matt Field, Chief Financial Officer at Joby Aviation, delivered an insightful keynote focused on Joby Aviation’s development and implementation pathway.

Two engaging panels delved into supporting continued AAM development (Moderated by MBDART Strategic Advisor/COO, Shari Tavaf), and the creation and management of airspace innovation corridors (Moderated by MBDART Co-Founder, Chris Bley). Notable industry leaders and experts led these discussions, shedding light on the state of research and development and the importance of innovation corridors.

The day continued with a featured, all-female leader panel (moderated by Community Air Mobility Initiative Executive Director, Yolanka Wulff), discussing government’s role in supporting AAM innovation and safety, followed by discussions on infrastructure, vertiports, and test facilities (moderated by UC Berkeley transportation futurist and researcher, Adam Cohen). Following that informative session, Fireside Chat with Carol Dietrich, Founder & President @Jump Aero Inc. and Dean Donovan, Partner @Diamond Stream Partners. Rounding out the day with exploring new return on investment opportunities in the AAM market (moderated by CSUMB College of Business Professor, Dr. Jennifer Kuan).

The evening concluded with a Networking Reception at the University Center, allowing participants to build valuable connections.

**Day 3 – Partnerships & Workforce Development**

The final day began with breakfast and registration, followed by an inspiring keynote from Daniel Theobald, Co-Founder & President of MassRobotics,  setting the stage for discussions on agtech innovation and workforce development.

Panel discussions on public-private workforce development partnerships and community partners in workforce and economic development highlighted the importance of collaboration in nurturing talent and creating economic opportunities.

The symposium concluded with closing remarks, emphasizing the significance of partnerships and workforce development in the rapidly evolving AAM and UAS industries.

The 2023 DART Symposium was a resounding success, with participants and speakers leaving with a deeper understanding of the potential and challenges of the AAM and UAS sectors. The event fostered collaboration among industry experts, government officials, and community leaders, paving the way for a more connected and innovative future.

For more information about the 2023 DART Symposium and upcoming events, please visit https://montereybaydart.org/symposium/.

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**Contact Information:**

Josh Metz Executive Director Monterey Bay DART (831) 254-8299

Our Sponsors and Partners

SIEDI Delegation Explores FIRA-USA 2023

Author: Barbara Meister, SIEDI Mentor

A SIEDI (Salinas Inclusive Economic Development Initiative) delegation explored the emerging world of robotics in agriculture by attending the FIRA-USA conference in September at the Salinas Rodeo Grounds. Participants included representatives from Mujeres en Acción, ALBA and Loaves, Fishes and Computers along with the Ag Tech class from Rancho Cielo

Drone Pavilion

The conference drew entrepreneurs, academics, government scientists, graduate students, venture capitalists, journalists and growers from all parts of the globe. Thanks to our partners at DART, 12 of us had the chance to see field-level robotic demonstrations, meet company representatives, and hear panel discussions about the emergence of robotics and mechanization of agriculture, its promises and possibilities, and the threats and opportunities that come with technological innovation.   

SIEDI leaders had several key takeaways and lots of questions.   Robotics is driven, at least in part, by the shortage of farm labor. Robotics and the mechanization of production agriculture will certainly change work.  

Some new jobs will be created as robotics will require engineering and programming skills for their creation and problem-solving applications. Could these be job opportunities for graduates of Hartnell and CSUMB’s new Mechatronics program? Could the sons and daughters of farm workers be prepared for these jobs? 

Drone Pavilion

Some jobs will be replaced, not immediately, but over time. There is not a robotic solution to harvest strawberries in the field (yet?) because it is difficult for a robotic eye to see the fruit under the leafy canopy of a strawberry plant. A more likely robotic application will be a machine to cut the pre-harvest berry runners and replace those jobs. For a grower, the higher return on labor is during harvest, not during pre-harvest maintenance of the plant.  

Some jobs are at present being replaced. The mechanized PlantTape,  only needs 2 workers to operate it when typically there are 8 or more workers riding a machine and feeding transplants into the soil.  

Some jobs will become safer. We saw an autonomous sprayer that could run at night, by itself and thus eliminate or reduce pesticide exposure for workers. On the other hand, the job of a sprayer often pays a $2-3 per hour premium, and is an attractive job for some because of the higher pay. What happens to these workers when they are replaced by machines?  

Ag Demonstration

Some jobs will be made more efficient. We saw smaller robots, called Burro and Amiga, that could carry small loads behind or alongside a worker, reducing physical burdens and increasing time-labor efficiency. For piece-rate crops, like strawberries, the time a harvester spends carrying a carton of berries to the end of the row is money lost. Will the cost-savings of a robot flow to the worker because they are more productive now? 

SIEDI leaders concluded that at present, robots have both the potential to be a complement to making work safer, less physically demanding, and more efficient for workers AND robots can displace workers. We are  eager to explore the questions of opportunities and threats to our Salinas Valley workforce. How do we create a pathway for the  jobs being created by innovation in ag tech for our youth? How do we re-skill and up-skill those currently work to plant and harvest our food? What impact will robots have on wages for farm workers?  

Drone Pavilion

As SIEDI prepares for its plan of work for the next two years, we are eager to have more conversations, starting with farm workers themselves – what do they want from ag tech? And with small farmers, can robots improve efficiencies at small scale? What capacity do our educational institutions, adult schools and community colleges have for upskilling and re-skilling our current workers? What kind of partnerships can we create alongside these institutions, including CSUMB and UCSC, to prepare our Salinas Valley students for the design, engineering, programming and manufacturing of ag tech? We are eager to talk with farmers who are using and experimenting with ag tech to find out what they are learning and the impact on their labor force. And we want to talk to the ag tech companies in our region  to understand what problems they are trying to solve and their workforce needs.   

Robotics and automation are happening. SIEDI is ready to be proactive in mitigating the downsides and shape how this innovation can enable more Salinas Valley families to be included in the economic opportunities this technology will create.

MBDART and CSUMB awarded $1.95M workforce development James Irvine Foundation grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monterey Bay Drone, Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative and CSU Monterey Bay Awarded $1.95M Grant by the James Irvine Foundation

Marina, CA – 10/12/23 – The Monterey Bay Drone, Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative and CSU Monterey Bay are thrilled to announce the successful acquisition of a $1.95 million funding award from the James Irvine Foundation. This generous grant will propel their collaborative mission forward, building upon momentum established during the 2022-23 period, and helping DART achieve ambitious program goals and objectives over the next two years.

In 2022-23, with the invaluable support of the James Irvine Foundation, the Monterey Bay DART Initiative, working in collaboration with Joby Aviation, the CSU Monterey Bay Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, and the University Corporation as fiscal agent, made significant strides in strengthening industry and community-based organizational partnerships. Key outcomes of the initial funding round include: Establishing the DART-Joby Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program (AMAP) pilot, completing a regional workforce training center feasibility study, and supporting the expansion of Joby’s prototype manufacturing capabilities at the Marina Airport. 

“We are grateful for the expanded support of the James Irvine Foundation, as well as the continued partnership of our many regional partners – especially Joby Aviation and CSUMB, and Monterey County, City of Marina, UC Santa Cruz MBEST, the Salinas Inclusive Economic Development Initiative, and the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership,” said Josh Metz, MBDART Executive Director. “We look forward to extending these partnerships and engaging new ones to realize the economic development potential of these exciting technologies, rightly applied to solving critical issues of our time, while creating a more inclusive economy on the Central Coast and beyond.”  

 

Goals for the awarded program funding, spanning from October 2023 through September 2025, include: Extension of the DART-Joby AMAP and initiation of a new DART-FarmNG AMAP, Deepening partnerships with community-based organizations (CBO’s), and further Increasing DART organizational capacity.

“Our partnership with DART has enabled us to forge deeper connections within our community, paving the way for new upskilling opportunities and career onramps that are tailored for the diverse population in our region.” said Cody Cleverly, Workforce Development Lead at Joby Aviation. “With this funding, we are poised to build on that momentum and establish a scalable framework that can be deployed across industries to close skill gaps, empower workers, and uplift entire communities.”

 

“We’re glad to be able to partner with DART to promote advanced manufacturing jobs for workers in our region and to support exciting local firms like Joby and Farm-NG,” said Jennifer Kuan, associate professor of entrepreneurship and economics in CSUMB’s School of Business Department and interim Executive Director of Innovation and Research for iiED.

The Monterey Bay DART Initiative is profoundly grateful to the James Irvine Foundation for their unwavering support and commitment to our mission. With this significant grant, we are well-positioned to continue our work in advancing technology-driven career opportunities, fostering community engagement, and contributing to the growth and development of our region.

 

### About Monterey Bay DART Initiative

The Monterey Bay Drone, Automation, and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative is a pioneering organization committed to fostering innovation and creating high-road career pathways in the fields of drone, automation, and robotics technology. Through strategic partnerships, community engagement, and educational programs, we aim to empower underserved communities and drive economic growth in the Monterey Bay region.

### Media Contact:

Josh Metz

MBDART Executive Director

josh@montereybaydart.org

(831) 264-8299

MBDART hosts US Commercial Service and US Embassy Representatives

MBDART was honored to co-host the US Commercial Service and Market Access Specialists from US Embassies in Germany, Turkiye, Croatia, and Romania for a trade focused exchange. Working in partnership with the Monterey County Economic Development Office, Central Coast Marketing Team, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, UC Santa Cruz-MBEST, Santa Cruz County Economic Development, See Monterey, Monterey Wines, and Joby Aviation, the local coalition and Commerce teams held a day of meetings and tours at the UCMBEST Marina Office and Joby Aviation’s Marina Manufacturing facilities.

“We really appreciate Joanne, Chris and the whole delegation for making the time to come visit us here in Marina and the Monterey Bay region. We learned about key features of their respective markets, tools and programs available to U.S. companies looking to initiate or expand EU trade, and key market access events occurring throughout the year. We also had the opportunity to educate the EU-based folks about the amazing companies, economic drivers, and quality of life offered here in the Monterey Bay region. Perhaps most importantly, we had the chance to meet, share a meal and establish person-to-person connections that will facilitate more effective and efficient engagements into the future.”

Josh Metz, Executive Director, MBDART

US Embassy Market Access Specialists provided information and insights into unique market interests and access information for each of their respective countries. Topics such as key growth areas, Commerce provided market access services, and key events were discussed. The local coalition provided market and organization overviews, including strategic programs, key economic sectors, interest and opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment, and tourism and hospitality opportunities for EU travelers.

“Our meeting with DART leadership and so many local experts who are instrumental in leading economic development in the Monterey Bay region was incredibly valuable.  Gaining a deeper understanding of the industries that underpin the regional economy and drive workforce development allowed for an enriching conversation about how the U.S. Commercial Service/ITA can help support existing efforts to grow international trade and investment the region.  We look forward to more such engagements in the months ahead.”

Joanne Vliet, Director, U.S. Commercial Service – Silicon Valley/San Jose
U.S. Department of Commerce | International Trade Administration

The exchange was productive and left the Commerce and EU teams with increased market awareness, inspiration for future exchanges, and key contacts to develop new market channels for Monterey Bay regional and California companies. Significant international opportunities exist in sectors including travel & tourism, processed food, education/training, agtech, aviation, and information technology, all of which are key industries driving the regional economy. We look forward to growing and expanding these relationships, both with the local San Jose based Commerce team and their US Embassy-based colleagues.

About the US Commercial Service

The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets. The Global Markets unit promotes U.S. exports, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises; advances and protects U.S. commercial interests overseas; and attracts inward investment into the United States. https://www.trade.gov/

DART Drone Pavilion at FIRA-USA, Sept 19-21 @ Salinas Rodeo Grounds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DART Drone Pavilion to Showcase Cutting-Edge Technologies at 2023 FIRA USA Agricultural Robotics Show

Monterey County, CA – August 31, 2023 – The highly anticipated 2023 FIRA USA Agricultural Robotics Show, scheduled to take place from September 19th to 21st at the Salinas Rodeo Grounds in Monterey County, CA, is proud to announce the inclusion of the inaugural DART Drone Pavilion. This pioneering pavilion will gather leading companies, organizations, and educational institutions at the forefront of agricultural drone technology, highlighting their contributions to the evolving landscape of agtech.

Participating in the Drone Pavilion are industry giants such as AgBee, AgXactly, AeroSystems West, FarmX, and Insightup Solutions, among others. These visionary companies are set to exhibit their latest drone innovations, services, and solutions designed to revolutionize agriculture and address the challenges faced by the industry.

“We’re excited to host the first Drone Pavilion at the FIRA Agtech Show,” said Josh Metz, the Executive Director of Monterey Bay DART. “We’ve got a great group of leading-edge platform developers, service providers, and educators, along with local Monterey County hosts. We hope to see everyone at the show!”

The Monterey Bay DART (Drone and Autonomous Robotics Technology), the driving force behind this innovative initiative, envisions an interconnected innovation ecosystem that brings together industry, academia, government, and community-based organizations. The goal is to collaborate on future growth opportunities and advancements in agricultural robotics, promoting sustainable and efficient practices.

In addition to the featured companies, the UCSC CITRIS Institute for Drone Education & Research will join the pavilion, underlining the importance of education and research in shaping the future of drone technology in agriculture. This esteemed institution will provide insights into cutting-edge research and educational programs focused on driving the industry forward.

To learn more about this groundbreaking event and other engagement opportunities within the Monterey Bay DART community, visit MBDART.org.

For press inquiries and interview requests, please contact Monterey Bay DART

Email: info@montereybaydart.org 

Phone: (831) 264-8299

DART Workforce Skills Demand Study

CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER) at UC Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Drone, Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative collaborate on DART Workforce Skills Demand Study in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties

The CITRIS Center for Drone Education and Research (CIDER) at UC Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay Drone Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative are pleased to announce their collaboration on a groundbreaking DART Workforce Skills Demand Study. The study aims to assess the current and future workforce skills demand for the use of drones in agriculture, infrastructure inspection, construction monitoring, and related fields within Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties.

Complete the DART Skills Demand Survey

Contribute your responses to the DART Skills Demand survey to help shape modern workforce training programs

The mission of the study is to determine the industry demand for drone operation skills in the tri-county area, while also identifying the skills gap that needs to be addressed through appropriate training and development to meet the expected industry demands. By focusing on advancing quality jobs growth and fostering local economies that benefit all residents, this effort aims to leverage the inherent assets, talents, and leadership within our communities.

As part of this study, UCSC-CIDER and Monterey Bay DART are reaching out to businesses and individuals in these industries to gain survey participation and engagement with the study. Participants will have the chance to contribute to this important study aiming to ensure our regional workforce is well-prepared to deliver in-demand workforce skills. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of the final report upon its completion. We invite businesses and professionals in the industry to sign up to contribute their insights and participate in the survey here.

“The increased opportunities for jobs using drones and automation are wide ranging and potentially life changing. We’re excited to be able to partner with Monterey Bay DART on this important project so provide a more comprehensive and inclusive look at the future of this type of employment. The information in the report will help shape the training and workforce development programs we are creating with our regional partners at Hartnell College, Digital Nest, and CSU Monterey Bay. “ Becca Fenwick, Director, CIDER UCSC.

“Monterey Bay DART is thrilled to continue and expand  our collaboration with the UCSC-CIDER team on this important project. We are seeing increasing demand for DART-related skills, and this study will provide our regional industries a chance to contribute directly to shaping our future-relevant workforce training efforts” says Josh Metz, Monterey Bay DART Executive Director. “This collaboration is a perfect pairing of the research and educational expertise of UCSC-CIDER with the project implementation expertise and cross-sector ecosystem DART has developed.”

The study will specifically assess industry demand for drone, automation, and robotics technology skills and expertise in the next 1-5 years across various sectors, including agriculture, construction, aviation, public safety, and marine science/blue economy. By analyzing the gap between job skill demand and the current skills identified in the surveys for each sector, our study will establish the existing training opportunities within the tri-county area.

About UCSC and CIDER:

The University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) is a renowned public research university located in Santa Cruz, California. UCSC is committed to academic excellence, innovative research, and community engagement, fostering an environment of intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. The CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER) is the first of its kind in the UC system, housed with the The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute or CITRIS for short, is a multi-campus initiative focused on research and emerging technologies across the UC Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz campuses. The UCSC CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER) offers educational training and research support for the development and use of drone technology across all academic disciplines and many industry sectors, as well as workforce development expertise. Students benefit from career-enhancing experiential learning opportunities, hands-on field research, flight time, and FAA licensure.

About Monterey Bay DART:

Monterey Bay Drone Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) is a leading organization dedicated to promoting the safe and responsible integration of drones into various industries. DART collaborates with educational institutions, businesses, and government agencies to drive innovation, economic growth, and workforce development in the region.

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Commercial UAV Expo Launches New Advanced Airspace Summit

Summit to address challenges in navigating trust, regulations, and operations in the future of airspace.

Portland, Maine, USA – August 8, 2023 – Organizers of Commercial UAV Expo, the world’s leading commercial drone trade show and conference, have announced an important addition to this year’s conference program: the Advanced Airspace Summit. Commercial UAV Expo takes place September 5-7, 2023, at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, and the Advanced Airspace Summit will be held on Wednesday, September 6, as part of the event’s conference program.

“There is currently a large gap between crewed and uncrewed aviation,” said Jeremiah Karpowicz, Group Editorial Director at Diversified Communications, organizer of Commercial UAV Expo. “Commercial UAV Expo is working to bridge that gap and create trust within the entirety of the airspace community – including the general public. As the commercial drone industry continues to grow, the UAS community needs to address stakeholders’ challenges and concerns so that we can build the future of the airspace together. This highly anticipated addition to our conference program will allow attendees to discuss where the industry is today, how the technology will evolve, what regulatory changes will likely be necessary, and what challenges the industry will face related to passenger expectations and public acceptance. We will tackle these issues through insightful communication and planning, and Commercial UAV Expo is proud to be at the forefront and provide a platform to move the industry forward.”

“Sharing perspectives and knowledge will affect safe further integration into our NAS. By listening and  educating the community holistically, we are building the bridge of understanding and paving a road to success,” said Toni Drummond, President US of Titan Aviation Global. “As we have been witnessing, it’s critical during this rapid growth for collaboration between all parties, especially general aviation and emerging technologies. The next revolution of sustainable aviation will depend on all stakeholders working together to develop solutions that will carry us directly into the future.”

The Advanced Airspace Summit is a part of the full conference program and formatted as a two-part panel series on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 6, 2023.  Sessions are designed to answer these questions:

  • What should we be doing as an industry to increase security and trust?
  • How can we build better airspace awareness today?
  • And why is doing so vital to the future of airspace as a whole?

The agenda is as follows:

Part I: Cultivating Public trust

  • Opening Address: Is the Public Ready for the Airspace of Tomorrow, today?
  • Panel discussion: Can We Cultivate Public Trust in the Airspace Through Airspace Deconfliction?
  • Panel discussion: How Will the Drone Corridors of the Present Define the Future of the Airspace?

Part II: Establishing Regulatory and Operational Frameworks

  • Opening Address: AAM Infrastructure Development – Plan for the Future Now!
  • Panel Discussion: Regulations Nation – Working Within Current FAA Regulatory Frameworks to Advanced UAM & UAS Operations
  • Panel Discussion: People, Process, and Policy for Drone, Cargo and Air Taxi Operations

Panelists include industry experts from leading companies including AERODiMEO LLC, Choctaw National of Oklahoma, DroneUp, End State Solutions LLC, FAA, Iris Automation, Northern Plains UAS Test Site, NUAIR, P3 Tech Consulting, Sabrewing Aircraft Company, Spright, Supernal, Syracuse International Airport, Titan Aviation Global, The MITRE Corporation, TruWeather Solutions, USDOT’s Highly Automated Systems Safety Center of Excellence, Xelevate Solutions, and Zipline International.

The Advanced Airspace Summit is part of a robust conference program delivering practical, actionable education developed in conjunction with commercial drone leaders.

The exhibit hall floor features 200+ solutions providers and their latest UAS solutions, including airframes, software, sensors, and services, to create a cutting-edge and comprehensive showcase of the industry’s advancements and innovations. Additional features include DRONERESPONDERS Safety Summit, Workshops and training, and live outdoor flying demonstrations, which allow for hands-on learning and connections. Visit www.expouav.com for more information on attending and exhibiting. Registration is open – click here to register today!

About Commercial UAV Expo

Commercial UAV Expo, presented by Commercial UAV News, is an international conference and expo exclusively focused on commercial UAS integration and operation covering industries including Construction; Drone Delivery; Energy & Utilities; Forestry & Agriculture; Infrastructure & Transportation; Mining & Aggregates; Public Safety & Emergency Services; Security; and Surveying & Mapping. It takes place September 5-7, 2023, at Caesars Forum, Las Vegas NV. For more information, visit https://www.expouav.com/.

Commercial UAV Expo is produced by Diversified Communications’ technology portfolio which also includes Commercial UAV News; Geo Week, Geo Week Newsletter, 3D Technology Newsletter, AEC Innovations Newsletter, Geo Business (UK) and Digital Construction Week (UK).

For more information about exhibiting at the Commercial UAV Expo, visit the exhibitor information page or contact Kat McDonald, Sales Manager, at kmcdonald@divcom.com or +1.207-842-5646. For attending information, visit https://www.expouav.com/ or email info@expouav.com

Questions?

Lora Burns

Commercial UAV Expo Senior Marketing Managerlburns@divcom.com

Monterey Bay DART Drone Pavilion @FIRA-USA

Join Monterey Bay DART at its premium drone pavilion during the FIRA-USA event September 19-21, 2023. The Pavilion will be centrally located and provide a cohesive environment from which to engage potential clients and customers.

FIRA-USA is the pinnacle event for autonomous farming and agricultural robotics solutions, where industry players come together to shape the future of agricultural robotics. During this three-day event, visitors will have the opportunity to witness in-field demonstrations, explore business opportunities, and attend research project presentations, all conveniently located within the same venue.

Pavilion Features include:

  • 40′ x 40′ Pavilion with wood floor, siding that opens to the outside, electricity, central meeting space with tables and chairs
  • Each drone company gets 10′ x 10′ space with 6′ table and 4 chairs
  • Premium marketing of the pavilion and Silver-level marketing value for each company
  • Download the Event Map

Cost: Limited number of spaces available in the pavilion. Cost for inclusion at the Silver Sponsor-level equivalent is a significant reduction from the Standard rates currently available:

  • $3500 w/o Demo (standard rate $5000)
  • $6500 w/Demo (standard rate $7500)

Hurry, space is limited! Deadline to join this opportunity is July 24. Contact Abigail directly: abigail@montereybaydart.org For more details and listings of Sponsorship Levels and their benefits, download the brochure below.