WBT Open Innovation Forum on UAS Technology Returns to Oklahoma

A two-day event – the WBT Open Innovation Forum: Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – at the Wes Watkins Center on the Oklahoma State University campus will bring together industry stakeholders and showcase the latest in UAS technology.

For the second consecutive year, international industry experts and leaders will gather Sept. 28-29 in Stillwater to explore today’s UAS economic opportunities by giving insight into where the industry is headed, how communities are building development hubs, the mindset of capital investors, and the state of public policy and regulations.

The event will also feature UAS technology from research institutions and start-ups seeking partnerships to license, sell and develop their products.

“Unmanned aircraft will produce profound benefits to mankind on a global scale,” says John Walker, chief executive of the Padina Group Inc. and an advocate for the UAS industry who will be a featured forum speaker. Walker is also the Federal Aviation Administration’s former program director of airspace management.

Featured presenters also include the following:

  • Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma’s secretary of science and technology, as well as the former vice president for research and technology transfer at Oklahoma State;
  • Shawn Bullard, president of the Duetto Group LLC and a Capitol Hill-based government relations strategist, consultant and lobbyist specializing in public policy impacting innovative and disruptive technologies; and
  • Venture capitalists Michael A. Tharp, managing director of Cimarron Capital Partners; Carter Williams, president, chief executive and investment committee for iSelect Fund Management LLC; James P. Hughey, managing partner of NEXA Capital Partners Inc.; and Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Equities.

“The areas of the country where this industry will be centered will be those that can provide the necessary support – technological, intellectual and business – to enable small businesses to grow around this technology sector. This workshop will discuss these issues and the progress that is making Oklahoma one of those centers,” explains McKeever.


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