Vantage, DIU’s Blue sUAS Ecosystem Furthers the Next Generation of DoD-Silicon Valley Partnerships

Today, Vantage CEO and co-founder Tobin Fisher will be speaking on a virtual panel at AUVSI XPONENTIAL, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s conference for the unmanned systems community. The panel “Seeding a Blue sUAS Industry” will explore the specific ecosystem created by DIU’s Blue sUAS project as well as the larger U.S. commercial drone industry. 

Vantage is thrilled to be a part of Blue sUAS, working together with other drone companies to solve the same national security challenges. When it comes to national security, it’s important for the American drone industry to be innovative and vibrant and this partnership between the Department of Defense (DoD) and Silicon Valley has been instrumental in advancing this. 

The Pentagons Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) built the Blue sUAS ecosystem on the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) program, to provide secure, trusted, small unmanned aerial systems capability to the U.S. government and bridge the gap between drone providers and the government.  This summer, after 18-months of vetting and testing, DIU announced the five vendors, including Vantage, that are not only certified to fly in DoD and national airspace but also meet the U.S. government’s criteria required for procurement. 

To continue to usher in a next generation of DoD-Silicon Valley partnerships, it’s important to continue to build and contribute to the Blue sUAS industry, or ecosystem. In the Blue sUAS industry, clear goals, including specifications and capabilities, for drone and components manufacturers like Vantage are established, and this clarity helps us be more cutting-edge and effective. Not to mention, the broader Blue sUAS industry and DoD provide access to important resources, from collaborative competitors to DIU. For DoD and federal government partners, a Blue sUAS industry results in a greater range of trusted, military-grade sUAS options and capabilities – available at commercial pricing and built at Silicon Valley speed.

Innovation in the military drone industry has been historically slow, but the DoDs partnership with commercial companies to develop dual use technologies can enable a dramatic acceleration. The next step for this will be to not only develop an ecosystem of trusted UAS providers, but also an ecosystem of trusted component providers. At Vantage, look forward to contributing to a community that encourages innovation; avoids duplication of effort; and supports an ecosystem of both trusted UAV systems and trusted UAV components for the industry. Blue sUAS truly marks another step towards the next generation of DoD-Silicon Valley partnerships and a stronger partnership between drone manufacturers and the government. 

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