Is North Dakota Really The “Silicon Valley of Drones?”

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Is North Dakota Really The “Silicon Valley of Drones?”

Money, Ervins Strauhmanis June 10, 2011

The Research North Dakota program has contributed $2.9 million in grant funding to drone related projects.

North Dakota has historically been pro-drone and this led to it being referred to as the Silicon Valley of Drones by some. With an eye towards the future, North Dakota has “invested more than $34 million in a FAA-sanctioned test site, the nation’s first UAS business park, and drone-related research and businesses.” It doesn’t stop there. The Research North Dakota program has contributed $2.9 million in grant funding to drone related projects.

North Dakota has been touted as the Silicon Valley of Drones, and that reputation may gain even wider recognition if the Federal Aviation Administration drops a requirement of a pilot’s license for drone users.

State officials, business leaders and drone researchers are proudly proclaiming North Dakota’s leadership role in unmanned aviation. A hefty amount of state dollars has been invested in drone-related research and new business ventures, with hopes of opening economic opportunities in the state.

“Even if we can just get a small slice of that pie, (it has) a huge economic impact on the state,” said Paul Lucy, economic development and finance director for the commerce department.

North Dakota sees benefit to burgeoning drone industry

Why is North Dakota so interested in drones? Drones offers great value-propositions to the states two major businesses: energy and agriculture. If you have an interest in either field, then you may want to review our Drone GIS/Mapping offering. In this one-day course, you will learn the skills needed for energy inspections and precision agriculture.

North Dakota Quarter

North Dakota Quarter

About North Dakota

North Dakota is the 39th state of the United States, having been admitted to the union on November 2, 1889.

It is located in the Upper Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north, the states of Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south, and Montana to the west. The state capital is Bismarck, and the largest city isFargo. North Dakota is the 19th most extensive but the 4th least populous and the 4th least densely populated of the 50 United States.

North Dakota has weathered the Great Recession of the early 21st century with a boom in natural resources, particularly a boom in oil extraction from the Bakken formation, which lies beneath the northwestern part of the state. The development has driven strong job and population growth, and low unemployment.

By |2017-08-31T15:23:43+00:00March 24th, 2016|Drone Investing, Drone Startups, Drones, New Drones|Comments Off on Is North Dakota Really The “Silicon Valley of Drones?”

About the Author:

Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at