Autonomous Nation is a full-day conference bringing together policymakers from the local, state, and national levels with industry entrepreneurs and innovators to help make our region the most autonomous-friendly area in the country. The conference will focus on the autonomous industry and the impact it can have across our region, solving issues such as workforce shortages, inefficiencies, and technology gaps. Take a look at photos from last year's Autonomous Nation!

This event was formerly known as Drone Focus.

What to Expect:

  • Access to policymakers: One of North Dakota’s competitive advantages is our access to policymakers. We will be inviting local and state lawmakers and are looking at bringing in federal lawmakers as well.
  • Relevant Content: Throughout the event, you will find that our content is woven together in a narrative focused on building the infrastructure, policies, software, hardware, and tools for the autonomous nation of the future.
  • Real-time Demonstrations: We will work with industry to bring some of the latest autonomous equipment to demonstrate during the event.

Audience:
Policymakers at the local, state, and national levels, economic developers, and industry interested in reaching policymakers.

Questions?
If you are interested in getting involved, email or call Andrew Jason (AndrewJ@EmergingPrairie.com | 218-556-2922).

August 25, 2022

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Microsoft Commons Building

4550 42nd Ave S, Fargo, ND 58104


SCHEDULE

Autonomous Nation Conference
Microsoft Commons Building - See Eventbrite for Microsoft's COVID-19 Guidelines


 

Registration + Coffee

Artist

  • Yvette Reyes - Owner at FM Aerial & Movement Arts

Welcome

Autonomous Nation Speaker Series

  • David Cook - President, North Dakota State University
  • Darshan “Dash” Divakaran - Senior Manager, Strategic Innovation & Partnerships, AFWERX, United States Air Force

Panel: The Next 10 Years of UAS in ND

  • Moderator: Trevor Woods - Executive Director, Northern Plains UAS Test Site
  • Dr. Mark Askelson - Executive Director, Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS)
  • Michael Fridolfs - Site Director Grand Sky, Northrop Grumman
  • Frank Matus - Director, ATC and Digital Aviation Segment, Americas, Thales
  • Joerg Schamun - CEO, Airial Robotics

Break

Department of Transportation Fireside Chat

  • Ginny Crowson - Director, Connected and Automated Vehicles, Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Bill Panos - Director, North Dakota Department of Transportation

Panel: Xcel Energy: Corporate Innovator

  • Moderator: Josh Riedy - Founder and CEO, Airtonomy
  • Amanda Nelson - Senior Change Management Consultant, Xcel Energy
  • Tom Stegge - UAS Program Manager, Xcel Energy
  • Joseph Verbout - Electrical Engineer, Xcel Energy
  • Nick Zaccardi - CTO, Airtonomy

Autonomous Nation Speaker Series

  • Gene Avakyan - CEO and Co-founder, Edison Aerospace

Autonomous Nation Speaker Series

  • Doug Jensen - President, Bismarck State College

Keynote

  • U.S. Senator John Hoeven

Autonomous Nation Speaker Series

  • George Rumford - Acting Director, Test Resource Management Center, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Terri Zimmerman - CEO, Packet Digital + Botlink
  • Joel Kaczynski - RDO Equipment

Panel: Grower Voices

  • Moderator: Mark Watne - President, North Dakota Farmers Union
  • Vanessa Kummer - Grower
  • Sarah Lovas - Grower
  • Ryan Olson - Grower

Transit from Microsoft Fargo Campus to Grand Farm Hub Site

  • A shuttle will leave the Microsoft Campus for the Grand Farm Hub Site at 1:30 pm. The shuttle will be running between the two locations until 6:00 pm.

 

Autonomous Demonstrations (This portion of the conference is free and open to the public)
Grand Farm Hub Site - 2549 124th Ave. S, Horace, ND

  • Airial Robotics - Demonstrating Airial Robotics drone
  • BWR Innovations - Demonstrating a hydrogen microgrid
  • North Dakota Department of Transportation - Demonstrating an autonomous truck
  • North Dakota State University, Dr. Paolo Flores - Demonstrating Earthsense UGS and soil probes
  • North Dakota State University, Dr. Xin (Rex) Sun - Demonstrating weedbot
  • RDO Equipment
  • Tekniam - Demonstrating device to amplify wifi on the Grand Farm Hub Site
  • University of North Dakota Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS) - Demonstrating UND RADAR Truck and drone flights
  • Vigilant Aerospace - Demonstrating software with UAS and manned airplane

Social Hour
Grand Farm Hub Site - 2549 124th Ave. S, Horace, ND


SPEAKERS

Dr. Mark Askelson

Associate Vice President for Research: National Security
University of North Dakota

Gene Avakyan

CEO and Co-founder
Edison Aerospace

Gray Byers

Business Development
Airtonomy

Dr. David Cook

President
North Dakota State University

Ginny Crowson

Director, Connected and Automated Vehicles
Minnesota Department of Transportation

Darshan “Dash” Divakaran

Senior Manager, Strategic Innovation & Partnerships
AFWERX, United States Air Force

Jeff Decoux

Chairman
Autonomy Institute

Dr. Paulo Flores

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
North Dakota State University

Michael Fridolfs

Site Director Grand Sky
Northrop Grumman

Sen. John Hoeven

United States Senator
North Dakota

Dr. Doug Jensen

President
Bismarck State College

Joel Kaczynski

Product Specialist Manager
RDO

Vanessa Kummer

Grower
North Dakota

Sarah Lovas

Grower
North Dakota

Frank Matus

Director, ATC and Digital Aviation Segment, Americas
Thales

Amanda Nelson

Senior Change Management Consultant
Xcel Energy

Bill Panos

Director
North Dakota Department of Transportation

Zach Peterson

Director of Business Development
Vigilant Aerospace Systems

Josh Riedy

Founder and CEO
Airtonomy

George Rumford

Acting Director, Test Resource Management Center
U.S. Department of Defense

Joerg Schamun

CEO
Airial Robotics

Adam Spelhaug

Grower
North Dakota

Tom Stegge

UAS Program Manager
Xcel Energy

Dr. Xin (Rex) Sun

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
North Dakota State University

Joseph Verbout

Electrical Engineer
Xcel Energy

Mark Watne

President
North Dakota Farmers Union

Trevor Woods

Executive Director
Northern Plains UAS Test Site

Terri Zimmerman

CEO
Packet Digital + Botlink