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UAS Cluster Initiative newsletter
  January 9, 2024

2023 UAS Cluster Highlights;
New Rethink Vertical Podcast with Jennifer ‘"JJ" Snow of Allied Ventures
2023 UAS Cluster Highlights

Happy New Year! This past year was filled with remarkable developments, groundbreaking partnerships, and transformative achievements that have set the stage for an even more exciting and dynamic year ahead. So as we step into 2024, the UAS Cluster Initiative looks back at 2023 to recognize a few of the key events in the thriving innovation ecosystem of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and aerospace technology in Oklahoma.

In 2023, UASCI started the monthly Rethink Vertical Podcast series in which host Craig Mahaney interviews the industry's most innovative thinkers and doers to bring you emerging aerospace industry insight, without the fluff.

UASCI also completed 3 Lab to Business Showcase events in 2023, featuring technologies available for commercialization from research labs at Oklahoma State University, University of New Mexico, NASA, and the Department of Defense. The videos of these presentations may be viewed at

The UAS Angel Network conducted numerous pitch sessions for startups and small businesses including sessions at the TRAM Summitt and at the UAS Summiit and Expo. Find out more about UAS Angel Network at .

Charting the Course: Workforce Dynamics in Oklahoma's Emerging Aerospace Industry: The UASCI published a research report on the workforce development landscape in the state's burgeoning aerospace industry. The report sheds light on the key challenges and prospects within the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry in Oklahoma, emphasizing the necessity to bridge workforce gaps.
You can download and read this report at this link. Charting the Course: Workforce Dynamics in Oklahoma's Emerging Aerospace Industry .

Other selected news from the UAS cluster in 2023

Tulsa Designated as "Tech Hub" for Autonomous Technologies . The Tulsa Hub for Equitable & Trustworthy Autonomy (THETA) will advance the development of autonomous technologies which include uncrewed aerial systems (UAS), drones, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and other related fields.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) have announced a partnership for advancing the development of the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ecosystem.

OSU cuts ribbon for LaunchPad Center for Advanced Air Mobility with Tulsa Innovation Labs and Osage Nation. The LaunchPad Center will house dedicated resources to promote the development of new technologies in advanced air mobility, including staff to solicit projects from industry, engineers and researchers to build new products, and supporting services to help commercialize technologies and grow new companies.

Rethink Vertical Podcast with Jennifer ‘"JJ" Snow, Allied Ventures, Venture Partner .
Sponsored by Vigilant Aerospace Systems .

In the latest episode of the Rethink Vertical Podcast, Craig Mahaney, the Executive Director of the UAS Cluster Initiative, talks with Jennifer "JJ" Snow is a retired Air Force Intelligence Officer and current Venture Partner for Allied Ventures. Jennifer has served as the Chief Technology Officer for AFWERX, the innovation arm of the U.S. Air Force; and the Chief Innovation Officer for SOFWERX and the Donovan Group at Special Operations Command. In this podcast they discuss a wide range of topics, from the importance of networking for startup founders to how to pitch hardware focused technologies..

Find about this and more on the latest Rethink Vertical Podcast . Find out more about Allied Partners at

UASCI is creating an environment where unmanned aviation startups can thrive, connect with innovative networks, access global capital, discover national technologies and learn from proven tech industry leaders.

The UAS Cluster Initiative is funded in part through a Contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed within this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

Questions or comments regarding Newsletter, contact Jack James at
Policy News
Navigating the Skies: FAA and NASA Unveil Top 3 Breakthroughs in UAS and AAM for 2023
dronelife | 12/26/2023
2023 has been an important year for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), in terms of significant progress. In this exclusive year-in-review with industry experts Kevin Morris, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s...
Industry Headlines
Drone Delivery in 2024: A Balanced Perspective
dronelife | 01/03/2024
The drone delivery sector has been the subject of numerous articles in recent months, with a variety of news outlets discussing its potential. A report from Future Market Insights projects significant growth for the industry, estimating that the...

FlyRoute Empowers Entrepreneurs with Service Partner Program, Paving the Way for National Expansion and Innovation in Drone Services
dronelife | 01/03/2024
FlyRoute, a leading drone service provider for athletics, has announced the launch of its Service Partner Program. This initiative will empower entrepreneurs by offering them the opportunity to own a FlyRoute service territory, marking the company's...

Skyfire Consulting's Matt Sloane on the State of the Drone Industry: and His Predictions for 2024
dronelife | 12/31/2023
As a prominent figure in the drone industry, Matt brings a wealth of expertise and firsthand experience to the table. In this reflective piece, he shares valuable observations on the state of the drone industry in 2023 and offers his predictions for...

Cheaper Sensors for Drone Powerline Inspections: Chiba University Researchers Unveil Breakthrough Low-Cost UAV Solution
dronelife | 12/26/2023
A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Satoshi Suzuki from Chiba University recently announced that they had developed an innovative new low-cost UAV designed for powerline inspection.

The Future of Commercial Maritime Resupply
sUAS News | 12/21/2023
Air taxis and package deliveries dominate the headlines when it comes to unmanned aerial systems (UAS). However, the latest advances in automated vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAS technology are set to disrupt a key part of the global economy:...

Advancing Access: The Impact of Drone Delivery on Healthcare and Beyond
dronelife | 12/20/2023
Drone Delivery Revolutionizes Healthcare: Researchers Showcase Significant Benefits

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