Innovation District Symposium recap: OK on the forefront of Autonomous Systems Tech

Published: Thursday, April 8, 2021 By: Innovation District Staff

More than 50 innovation experts converged at a virtual event March 25, 2021 at the annual Oklahoma City Innovation District Symposium. With this year’s topic centralizing on autonomous system technologies, thought leaders from public and private sectors, industry and academia, all came together to discuss global advancements in autonomous systems and to highlight Oklahoma’s position at the forefront of this wave of innovation. In addition to a keynote speaker and panelist presentations, the Innovation District moderated several group discussions encouraging discussion and the exchange of ideas. The District captured more than 40 collaborative opportunities that will be the subject of additional programs and events designed to continue advancing Oklahoma’s expertise and assets in the autonomous systems space.

“Autonomous system technologies have so much impact on our culture and have the chance to make Oklahoma a better technology state, from aerospace to energy and biotechnology,” Dr. Kristian Olivero, the Technical Director for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker Air Force Base said. “Oklahoma and the Innovation District are helping make these autonomous systems a resource that makes Oklahoma a great center of technology for our nation.”

Autonomous systems are vehicles that guide themselves when tasked by a user but move without direct user input. They leverage technologies to perform tasks that were previously done manually or not possible at all, and they can optimize performance, time and safety with minimal human intervention. Advances in this field are occurring at rapid speeds, and they are revolutionizing entire industries. The message from the experts at the Innovation District Symposium was clear: Oklahoma is positioned to lead on the advancement of autonomous systems technologies, starting in the aerospace industry.

“We have an opportunity in front of us to leverage Oklahoma’s aerospace industry strength and workforce to create a cluster that attracts innovators from all over the world to build their products and grow businesses in this community, Peter Shannon, Founder & Managing Director of Radius Capital, said. “When we do that, we will put Oklahoma on the front wave of innovation across an entire spectrum of key technologies that will drive our society for the coming decades as we build digital systems that weave into the physical and make autonomous systems successful.”

The Innovation District is the idea ecosystem that delivers the opportunity for industry, academia and entrepreneurship to convene and collaborate on cross-cutting technologies and scale the ideas generated from those interactions. Oklahoma is at the forefront of the future of autonomous systems and can be a global leader in capitalizing on the technology’s future. At this intersection where collaboration creates innovation, the Innovation District will host additional programs and events to reconvene the experts and continue the conversations that were sparked at this year’s Symposium.

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