FirePoint’s Autonomous Air Cargo Industry Day Aims to Connect UAS Developers with DoD Programs to Explore Business Opportunities

The FirePoint Innovations Center at Wichita State University today announced it will host a virtual Autonomous Air Cargo Industry Day on Tuesday, Nov. 17 to introduce private-sector Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) startups and developers with experts in the Department of Defense for collaboration and networking toward building an aerial logistics and autonomous resupply program.

Industry, university and government participants in the UAS field can register now to learn about DoD autonomous resupply program partnering opportunities as well as current certification and testing resources, and gain insight into funding and contracting mechanisms that can help companies get started in or expand into serving the DoD UAS market.

The event will feature presentations from DoD autonomous cargo program leads, Wichita State’s National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR), Federal Aviation Administration certification experts, and representatives from UAS testing facilities.  An overview on SBIR programs and the use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA) mechanisms that support partnerships and funding will also be provided. The platform will also provide UAS industry representatives the opportunity to network with subject matter experts and speakers to ask questions, discuss needs and explore opportunities.

“By 2025, Unmanned Logistics Systems – Air/Joint Tactical Autonomous Aerial Resupply System (JTAARS) will provide a transformational element for the Marine Corps’ Diversified Distribution concept” according to Marine Logistics Innovation lead Carmine Borrelli.  “Autonomous aerial resupply is a strategic and tactical priority for the DoD, enabling the resupply of forward operating locations, to ensure combat readiness while keeping our vital equipment and personnel safe,” said Timothy Vong, CCDC Army Research Laboratory, Tactical UAS Special Projects Lead. “This FirePoint event is a great opportunity for DoD and industry representatives to learn about the technologies being developed that could support this mission, and how we can partner together to quickly get leading-edge UAS technology into service.”

In addition to Borrelli and Vong, other speakers related to UAS technology innovation include CPT Stephen DuCharme, Lead for the Army development of JTAARS Requirement, Col. Nathan Diller, Director of AFWERX, NUAIR Chief Technology Officer Andy Thurling, Northern Plains UAS Test Site Executive Director Nicholas Flom, and Gerardo Olivares, Director of Computational Mechanics and Crash Dynamics with NIAR.

“One of the biggest challenges we face in getting the latest technologies into military applications is the disconnect between the needs of DoD programs and the development of new, cutting-edge technology being developed by industry, particularly by smaller, non-traditional partners” said Clint Carrier, Project Manager with FirePoint. “Our mission at FirePoint, and with this event, is to remove barriers and bring the best technologies to our DoD customers, enabling partnerships that both advance the DoD’s mission and create high value business opportunities for its industry partners” added Steve Cyrus, FirePoint’s Executive Director.

Registration for the free virtual event is now open to representatives in the UAS community at https://www.firepoint-events.com/autonomous-cargo-event-1. In addition to event participation, industry reps will also get to create a company profile with details about their company and the type of work they’re doing to support UAS development. This lead database will be available for DoD representatives to tap for potential future opportunities beyond this one-day event.

About FirePoint

FirePoint is a partnership between Wichita State University and the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command, Aviation and Missile Center (CCDC AvMC) that accelerates joint technology development, transfer and commercialization among CCDC, universities, industry and other government organizations. FirePoint’s primary mission is to drive innovation and collaboration across the key Army modernization priorities to ensure modern Army combat readiness and overmatch in the multidomain battlespace.

For more information, visit www.firepoint.info.

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