Israeli Firm Will Open Autonomous Air and Ground Vehicle Command Center at CenterState CEO's Tech Garden in Downtown Syracuse
Investment Complements "CNY Rising" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the autonomous vehicle company Blue White Robotics is establishing a Command and Control center at the Tech Garden in Downtown Syracuse. With assistance from New York State and through private investments, the company is developing its "robots as a service" platform and plans to station an operations, marketing and sales team at the Harrison Street location, creating up to 30 jobs over the next five years. Last spring the company announced their interest in expanding their presence in New York state by partnering with local companies to service the state's agriculture, transportation and first responder markets. Empire State Development is assisting Blue White Robotics with up to $300,000 through the Excelsior Job Creation program and CenterState CEO is providing $1 million in UAS Jobs Funds assistance.
"New York's focused investment in upstate's unmanned aerial systems industry is truly paying off," Governor Cuomo said. "Blue White Robotics' decision to locate its U.S. headquarters in Central New York is proof positive that these efforts putting New York on the map, resulting in the creation of top-quality jobs and opportunities that will fuel further growth in the region."
"We are continuing to invest in Central New York to grow the high-tech industry and attract businesses to the area," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Blue White Robotics' new operations center in downtown Syracuse will further advance tech innovation and create new jobs and opportunities in the region. This partnership will spur collaboration among local companies and strengthen the local economy as we continue to build back better as part of CNY Rising and reimagine the future of New York State."
The total project cost has been placed at a little over $4 million. Blue White Robotics has also recently secured $10 million series A investment which will be used to further support the growth of its US operations.
Headquartered in Tel Aviv Israel, Blue White Robotics specializes in autonomous solutions for agriculture, public transportation, energy and mining, and first responders. The innovative company's customers include leading private companies, government organizations, and research institutions around the world. The company is also assisting Easy Aerial from Brooklyn, a company that designs and manufactures autonomous drones and ground control systems and Dropcopter from Syracuse, which develops aerial pollination capabilities, as part of the solution to the global bee crisis in partnership with Cornell University.
Blue White Robotics CEO Ben Alfi said, "I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his support and vision for autonomous systems; and to extend our gratitude to everyone at Empire State Development for the warm welcome we have received. Together, we will share our values of fellowship, love of the land, and innovation!"
Blue White Robotics officials joined the Governor's UAS industry delegation in Israel July 2019. Attended by top companies, academic institutions and technology startups from both counties, the summit was focused on promoting commerce and collaboration between NY and Israel for drone, health and infrastructure technologies.
New York State is laser focused on establishing itself as a worldwide leader in the development and implementation of the autonomous system industries. In 2016, Governor Cuomo announced a $30 million investment to develop a 50-mile drone test corridor between Syracuse and Rome in the form of a CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant. Today, the world's first 50-mile Unmanned Traffic Management Corridor between Syracuse and Rome is a global leader for testing UAS platforms and innovations. In an effort to further grow its' US operation, Blue White Robotics will conduct testing and licensing processes for its advanced command and control systems at the test site which is operated by NUAIR.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "By supporting top-quality tech firms like Blue White Robotics, we are attracting entrepreneurial energy from around the world to the Central New York region, a hub for UAS innovation. Upstate New York has the talent and state-of-the-art infrastructure to further drive the growth of this evolving industry."
State Senator Rachel May said, "It is always exciting to see the expansion of new opportunities at the Tech Garden. Syracuse is perfectly suited for the advancement of innovative technologies and it is wonderful to see the state's investment in our region continue to bring new business and industry here."
State Assemblyman William Magnarelli said, "The addition of Blue White Robotics to the Technology Garden in Syracuse is a great example of how the Technology Garden is continuously looking to grow and advance. Syracuse has the resources, connections and opportunities for companies that are looking to become industry innovators and leaders."
State Assemblyman Al Stirpe said, "We have been working as a community to make Central New York a leader in the UAS industry and a real destination where growing companies in the sector want to be. I'm delighted to help lead this effort locally and to continue playing a role in bringing world-class companies and jobs to New York State."
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, "Our continued investments in unmanned aerial systems industry leaders like Blue White Robotics is serving to transform Central New York into a global leader in this cutting-edge technology. We will continue to support these job creating companies as they contribute to our focused efforts to strengthen Onondaga County's economy for many years to come.'
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, "I'm thrilled that Blue White Robotics' journey has led to the City of Syracuse. It's further evidence that Syracuse and Central New York are destinations for technology companies who could locate their businesses anywhere. It's also another boost for the Syracuse Surge, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy. I thank Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development and CenterState for their consistent support for good jobs in our region."
CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson said, "We look forward to welcoming Blue White Robotics into The Tech Garden and helping them expand and create jobs here in Central New York. Over the past decade this region has advanced its global leadership position in the unmanned systems sector. Attracting this leading-edge company is reflective of the progress we have made and validation of the state's investment to support Central New York in becoming a hub of advanced research and business development in this burgeoning sector."
Accelerating CNY Rising
Today's announcement complements "CNY Rising," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.3 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.