Drones a Major Player in MA Technology Ecosystem

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The state of Massachusetts held State House Innovation Day yesterday – and the drone industry was present and accounted for.

The Massachusetts TechHUB Caucus hosted its 3rd marquee Innovation Day , an event which brought 200-plus attendees to the State House to discuss “Megatrends and the Future of Tech in Massachusetts.”

Tech is one of the state’s strongest economic engines. According to the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s 2017 State of Technology Report, the sector today directly employs over 300,000 and an additional 100,000 employed in tech occupations in other sectors of the economy, which including indirect jobs, underpinning 34% of all jobs in Massachusetts.

“Bringing the tech community to the State House is a critical step in forming relationships, educating our lawmakers, and shining a spotlight on how these innovators and innovations are not just fueling much of the Commonwealth’s economic growth, they are making huge impacts on businesses and consumers here in the region, in the nation, and around the world,” says Tom Hopcroft, CEO of MassTLC.

Greensight Agronomics is an automated agronomic intelligence platform – specializing in management for golf courses.  The aerial intelligence that they provide – which they say is military grade technology adapted for the purpose – helps golf courses to manage irrigation systems, fertilizers and other resources.

The Center for Marine Robotics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was at the event demonstrating their underwater unmanned system, a critical innovation for marine scientists.  But representatives point out that the long-range, unattended AUV (the one on show actually demonstrated the marks of shark teeth) could be adopted for commercial use.

Riptide, developer of small unmanned underwater systems, was present showing their sensor agnostic system – a rocket-like undersea vehicle available in multiple sizes that carries an enclosed payload, customizable for the application.

SolidEnergy Systems of Woburn develops the world’s lightest rechargeable cells – game-changing power systems that can be used to power UAVs from drone taxis to long-range high altitude drones delivering Internet service to unserved areas.

“Today was a terrific opportunity to explore what is possible thanks to the innovations of the businesses propelling Massachusetts forward,” said TechHUB Caucus co-chair Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “The winners of the NextGEN awards are transforming the future of technology and driving the next generation of economic growth.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to host a discussion with tech leaders and public officials here at the State House,” stated Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester), TechHUB Caucus co-chair. “We are fortunate to have so much talent in Massachusetts, and the tech community is driving trends that are making a positive impact on our communities. I look forward to continuing an ongoing dialogue that will foster an even stronger innovation economy here in Massachusetts.”

The TechHUB Caucus is supported by a Working Group that includes: Dell, Google, MassTLC, TechNet,the MassTech Collaborative, Microsoft, MITX, and Verizon.

“The TechHUB Caucus plays a critical role in bringing together innovators from around the Commonwealth with policymakers, helping forge a deeper understanding and openness between the two groups,” said Tim Connelly, CEO/Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the public economic development agency tasked with growing the innovation economy in Massachusetts. “Innovation Day at the State House is a great event where we see this dynamic in action.  It’s a prime opportunity to ask questions, get hands-on demos, and to hear from the tech sector about innovations that are just over the horizon.”

“Massachusetts is fortunate to have a thriving innovation sector.  A strong ecosystem of innovators – from startups to large enterprises – is revolutionizing how we live and work,” said Donna Cupelo, Region President of Verizon New England.  “Verizon understands firsthand how important it is to foster a culture of innovation that is driving trends and fueling economic growth for our state, our region and our nation.”



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