Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education receives major federal grant for work on advanced air mobility

Friday, September 2, 2022

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President Shrum Praises Transformative Partnership as OSU Continues to Solidify as Oklahoma’s Aerospace Leader

Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) has received two federal grants to expand its reach and impact in the development of advanced air mobility (AAM).

OSU grants are awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as part of a $38.2 million grant to the Tulsa Regional Advanced Mobility (TRAM) Corridor to establish a research, development, and production center in the burgeoning field of advanced mobility – the next point of intersection between the aerospace industry and intelligence.

The funding will be used to establish the LaunchPad Center of Advanced Air Mobility at the Helmerich Research Center on the OSU-Tulsa campus and support ongoing research activities at OSU, such as the NASA University Leadership Initiative led by the OSU and the recent agreement between the state governments of Oklahoma and Arkansas to develop advanced mobility pilot programs across the border. The new center will focus on research and development of drone technology and urban air mobility, i.e. urban air taxis. The funding will also be used in related development of flight test capabilities, and OSU researchers will work with the Osage Nation and its SkyWay36 Droneport northwest of downtown Tulsa.

“Quality partnerships open the door to new possibilities,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum. “Oklahoma State University has had incredible success in other Tulsa-area partnerships, and we’re thrilled to be a key player in this coalition. OSU is the state’s leader in aerospace and aviation, with specialized infrastructure dedicated to the research and design of unmanned systems.

“As a land-grant university, we are committed to using research to solve society’s most pressing problems, to empower Oklahoma’s workforce, and to provide access to a quality education. quality. This partnership will improve the lives of Oklahomans in tangible ways. The benefits will extend beyond our borders and influence the nation and, more importantly, the future.

OSU will join a number of partners, including the Osage Nation, Tulsa Innovation Labs (TIL), Tulsa Ports, Osage LLC, Partner Tulsa, and the Tulsa Regional Chamber, under the Council of Indian Nations Governments (INCOG) to create the Technology Corridor.

“This is a game-changer for Oklahoma and OSU,” said Dr. Jamey Jacob, director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute. “While Oklahoma is already a leader in advanced air mobility, this grant will provide new capabilities, expand OSU’s role in AAM, and attract new businesses and projects to the state. This award, the first for OSU’s new Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education, exemplifies and cements OSU’s leadership position in aerospace and aviation at the state and national levels .

These grants are part of the federal Build Back Better – American Rescue Plan designed to spur economic recovery from the pandemic and rebuild American communities.

“Oklahoma has a long and proud history in aviation, air mobility technology and manufacturing, which has enabled Northeast Oklahoma to harness the region’s innovative capabilities and lead the development of next-generation unmanned aerial systems,” said Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03). “The Economic Development Administration’s $39 million award is a welcome and exciting investment that will cement Oklahoma as a hub for transformational air mobility research and development.

“I salute the work of INCOG, Oklahoma State University, the Osage Nation, the City of Tulsa, and all other regional players who have forged a pioneering vision for the future of unmanned aerial technologies and of manufacturing in Oklahoma. By investing in this critical industry – and our local and state economies – we will continue to increase America’s technological competitiveness around the world.

Jennifer Hankins, Head of Partnerships with Tulsa Innovation Labs, said the new agreement is “an important step toward realizing our vision and transforming Tulsa into an inclusive and prosperous city of the future.”