SOURCE: Grand Sky

Grand Sky

May 30, 2013 13:31 ET

Grand Forks County Business and Technology Park Plans Unveiled

Grand Sky to Expand UAS Industry Advancement Opportunities in North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, ND--(Marketwired - May 30, 2013) - Plans for a new state-of-the-art business and technology park dedicated to supporting all phases of development and operations of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) were unveiled today at the UAS Action Summit in Grand Forks, N.D. Officials from Grand Forks County are finalizing an agreement to develop Grand Sky, a business park that will be located west of the city. Construction is anticipated to take place in 2014, with spaces available for tenants by 2015.

Project planners say this is a significant milestone for North Dakota and are excited about the potential for Grand Sky to help the UAS industry grow. "Grand Sky is North Dakota's largest project of this type. We are at the forefront of creating a robust, internationally competitive economic growth sector for the entire region," says John Schmisek, Grand Forks County commissioner. "As opportunities for UAS development expand, everything necessary for a strong sector -- operations, training, research and development -- will converge at Grand Sky."

Grand Sky will bring together government, military, academic and private organizations to develop and integrate new technologies and improve operational performance for government, defense and commercial industries. Business park features will include approximately 225 acres of campus and total facility development of approximately 1.2 million square feet of space.

In addition to industry growth, Grand Sky will support as many as 3,000 new jobs. "Grand Sky opens up new possibilities to attract investment and activity that result in a diversified economy and advanced employment opportunities for our region's workforce," says Klaus Thiessen, president and CEO of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation. "These jobs will retain our highly educated young people and attract workers from around the nation. This development is redefining regional economic development."

Grand Sky will support both military and civilian based systems developers with the goal of integrating unmanned systems into commercial applications such as North Dakota's agricultural and energy industries. "New unmanned vehicles and sensors will help farmers detect stress in their crops earlier and cheaper. They will be used to inspect transmission lines and pipelines so problems are quickly remedied," says Bruce Gjovig, CEO at the UND Center for Innovation Foundation. "North Dakota will be a leader in commercial UAS usage, and Grand Sky will provide the supportive infrastructure to make that happen."

About Grand Sky
Opening in 2015 in Grand Forks County, N.D., Grand Sky is a new state-of-the-art business and technology park. It is a collaboration of the state of North Dakota, Grand Forks County, the City of Grand Forks, the Grand Forks Base Realignment Impact Committee, Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, University of North Dakota and Northland Community and Technical College. Grand Sky supports companies and governmental organizations engaged in the research, development, training and operations of manned and unmanned aircraft systems.

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