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.
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:
- 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.
- In September, Monterey Bay DART co-hosted a trade exchange with US Commercial Service and Market Access Specialists from German, Turkish, Croatian, and Romanian Embassies. The exchange boosted market awareness, inspired future collaborations, and established key contacts for developing new market channels for Monterey Bay regional and California companies.
- In September, Monterey Bay DART hosted the inaugural DART Drone Pavilion at the 2023 FIRA USA Agricultural Robotics Show in Salinas. The Pavilion brought together key players in agricultural drone technology, showcasing their contributions to agtech. The event successfully fostered collaboration on growth opportunities and advancements in agricultural robotics, emphasizing sustainable practices.
- In July, DART Executive Director Josh Metz and Board Vice President Chris Bley attended the Aerospace States Association Annual Meeting in Boulder Colorado. Highlights included meeting Colonel Nicole Mann, Commander of the SpaceX Crew 5 Space Station Mission and first Native American in space, tours and leadership briefings at the Air Force Academy, Northern Command and Space Command in Colorado Springs, and seminars at the impressive University of Colorado Aerospace Engineering Sciences Center
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!