New York State extends drone research corridor business

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced (  that the Empire State Development Board of Directors signed off on USD10 million in additional funding for rounds four and five of the innovative GENIUS NY business accelerator, the World’s Largest Unmanned Aircraft Systems Competition, located in The Tech Garden in Downtown Syracuse, expanding operations at the 50-mile flight traffic management system located between Syracuse and Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York State.

New York’s ongoing investment in the growing Unmanned Aircraft Systems industry in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley is expected to create at least 200 local jobs and USD39.5 million in private investments. Six companies—including two international firms—have committed to creating opportunities in both regions following the state’s USD30 million investment in the project.

“New York’s investment in the unmanned aerial systems industry has transformed Central New York and the Mohawk Valley into global leaders in this cutting-edge technology, creating jobs and boosting local economies,” Governor 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.”

Since 2015, New York State has established itself as the nation’s premiere destination for drones and businesses at the forefront of innovation. The state has invested over USD40 million to position itself to become the nation’s drone capital, including funding for the 50-mile “drone highway” and GENIUS NY. This significant investment has pioneered the development of New York’s drone industry.

The six companies include:

AutoModality, Inc. – GENIUS NY Round one winner has committed to creating a location in Syracuse targeting infrastructure inspections as it pertains to UAS industry and commercialization of the company’s Perceptive Navigation drone technology. AutoModality has committed to creating up to 59 new jobs over the next seven years.

Total Project Cost: USD16 Million/Total State Investment: USDMillion (USD500K in CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative Funding, USD1 Million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program. USD500,000 from an ESD funded program – UAS Central Job Fund.)

Northeast Information Discovery, Inc. – The cyber security research and development enterprise will construct and equip a new facility in Canastota, Madison County which will be home to state-of-the-art laboratories. The company has committed to creating up to 45 new jobs over the next five years.

Total Project Cost: Close to $1 million/ Total State Investment USD974,000. (USD200,000 in Regional Council Capital Fund funding, USD90,000 in Excelsior Benefits, and USD684,000 from an ESD funded program -UAS Central Job Fund)

Thales USA, Inc. – One of Europe’s biggest defence contractors, Thales will establish a UAS centre of excellence in Central New York. The company will have a presence in both the Mohawk Valley and Central New York and is committing to creating up to 26 new jobs in Central New York.

Total Project Cost: A little more than USD4.6 Million/Total State Investment: USD1.5 (USD1 Million through Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program; USD500,000 (from an ESD funded program -UAS Central Job Fund.)

Microdrones – The company, which provides aircraft, services and solution for a wide range of drone applications is taking part in START-UP NY program partnership with Mohawk Valley Community College in an effort to have access to facilities and resources and MVCC students gain internships, workforce development and career opportunities. They have committed to creating up to four jobs but has already created a total of seven jobs in the region.

Assured Information Security, Inc.– A startup company that grew out of the Air Force Research Lab to one of the fastest growing tech firms in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. AIS will launch a division focused on the cybersecurity of unmanned systems. They have locations in Syracuse and Rome and it has committed to creating up to 12 new jobs.

Total Project Cost: USD900,000/Total State Investment: USD240,000 (from an ESD funded program-UAS Central Job Fund.)

Unifly – Based in Belgium, and in partnership with Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR Alliance) and Griffiss International Airport, the company will create up to 39 new jobs as it establishes its North American Headquarters in Central New York to deploy its software platform and support traffic management testing. Working with NUAIR it will enable enhancements to test Beyond Visual Line of Site (BVLOS) systems with the ultimate goal of safely integrating UAVs into the nation’s airspace.

Total Project Cost: USD10 Million in Salaries over five years

Total State Investment: USD1.5 million from (an ESD funded program -UAS Central Job Fund.)

In addition, the state has committed funding to creating a USD7 million “Sky Dome” at Griffiss to help draw companies to the region who are dedicated to locating operations at the airport facility. The total state investment is a USD1.4 million grant through the Consolidated Funding Application process.

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