200 jobs, millions in investment projected for drone zone

Published Sep 24, 2018 at 4:00pm

Creation of at least 200 jobs and $39.5 million in private investments for the growing drone/unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley from Syracuse to Rome are being projected by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Among six companies involved are Assured Information Security, Inc. (AIS), which has locations in Syracuse and Rome, and Microdrones, which is working on a program with Mohawk Valley Community College.

The six companies have “committed to creating opportunities” in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, following the state’s $30 million investment in developing a UAS flight traffic management system between Syracuse and Griffiss airport, Cuomo’s office announced. Outlining the companies’ activities, which include further state financial assistance plus private investments:

• AIS will launch a division focused on cybersecurity of unmanned systems. It has committed to creating up to 12 new jobs.

• Microdrones is taking part in a START-UP NY program partnership with MVCC that will help MVCC students gain internships, workforce development and career opportunities. It has created seven jobs in the region.

• Unifly, in partnership with Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance and Griffiss airport, will create up to 39 jobs in establishing a North American headquarters in Central New York to deploy its software platform and support traffic management testing.

• Thales USA, Inc., a defense contractor, will establish a UAS center of excellence in Central New York and also will have a Mohawk Valley presence. It is committed to creating up to 26 jobs in Central New York.

• Northeast Information Discovery, Inc., a cybersecurity research and development enterprise, will build a facility in Canastota that will create up to 45 jobs over five years.

• AutoModality, Inc., a GENIUS NY program funding winner, has committed to creating a Syracuse location targeting infrastructure inspections pertaining to the UAS industry and commercialization of its drone technology; it is to create up to 59 new jobs over seven years.

Among several state and area officials who praised the development plans were state Senators Joseph Griffo and David Valesky, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, and Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. Cuomo said “we will continue to support these innovative companies as they help to grow the drone corridor and strengthen these regions for generations to come.”