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On Feb. 20, Clark School alumnus Evandro Valente, founder and chief technology officer of Airgility Inc. in the College Park Discovery District, gave testimony in support of two bills before the Maryland House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee. Valente holds a 2006 MS and a 2003 BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Airgility is an early-stage unmanned aerial systems company that aims to combine helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, and quadcopter capabilities to create unmanned aerial systems with great flight efficiencies. Their intelligent autonomous systems will incorporate higher level on-board computing power, making them open-ended to artificial intelligence and machine learning. Airgility was awarded a $225K NSF SBIR in 2019 for “Intelligent cloud-based Advanced Manufacturing Services.”

HB514 would establish the Maryland Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Incentive Program, to be administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). This would provide State of Maryland matching funds for Maryland companies awarded federal and Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding.

HB521 would establish the Maryland Small Business Innovation Research Technical Assistance Program within TEDCO. It requests ongoing funding for, among other services, an SBIR/STTR proposal writing workshop to help small Maryland companies be more competitive in applying for SBIR/STTR grants. Valente was part of a SBIR proposal writing workshop in 2019 and successfully applied for the NSF SBIR; he testified to the value of the workshop in helping him secure the grant.

In his testimony, Valente talked about the value of programs sponsored by the Clark School’s Office of Advanced Engineering Education and, in particular, its Masters of Engineering and Certificate programs in Robotics.

Read Valente’s testimony here, in MS Word format.



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February 24, 2020


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