Skip to content

Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education awarded major federal grant for work on Advanced Air Mobility

Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education awarded major federal grant for work on Advanced Air Mobility


President Shrum praises transformative partnership as OSU continues to cement itself as Oklahoma’s aerospace leader  

(STILLWATER, Okla., Sept. 2, 2022) — Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) has received two federal grants to expand its reach and impact in the development of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM).

The OSU grants are awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as part of a $38.2 million award to the Tulsa Regional Advanced Mobility (TRAM) Corridor to create a hub for research, development and production in the burgeoning field of advanced mobility — the next intersection point between the aerospace industry and intelligence.

The funding will be used to create the LaunchPad Center of Advanced Air Mobility at the Helmerich Research Center on the OSU-Tulsa campus and support ongoing research activities at OSU, such as the NASA University Leadership Initiative led by OSU and the recent agreement between the state governments of Oklahoma and Arkansas to develop Advanced Mobility pilot programs across the border. The new center will focus on research and development of drone technology and urban air mobility — aka urban air taxis. The funding also will be used in the related development of flight test capabilities, and OSU researchers will work with the Osage Nation and its SkyWay36 Droneport northwest of downtown Tulsa.

“Quality partnerships open the door to new possibilities,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “Oklahoma State University has seen incredible success in other Tulsa-area partnerships, and we’re delighted to be a key stakeholder in this coalition. OSU is the state’s leader in aerospace and aviation, with specialized infrastructure dedicated to the research and design of unmanned systems.

“As a land-grant university, we’re committed to using research to address society’s most pressing problems, empowering Oklahoma’s workforce and providing access to a quality education. This partnership will improve life for Oklahomans in tangible ways. The benefits will expand beyond our borders and will have an influence on the nation and more importantly, the future.”

OSU will join a number of partners, including the Osage Nation, Tulsa Innovation Labs (TIL), Tulsa Ports, Osage LLC, Partner Tulsa and the Tulsa Regional Chamber, under the umbrella of The Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) to create the technology corridor.

“This is a game changer for Oklahoma and OSU,” said Dr. Jamey Jacob, Unmanned Systems Research Institute director. “While Oklahoma is already a leader in Advanced Air Mobility, this grant will provide new capabilities, expanding OSU’s role in AAM and attracting new companies and projects to the state. This award, the first for OSU’s new Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education, exemplifies and cements OSU’s leadership position in aerospace and aviation at the state and national levels.”

These grants are part of the federal Build Back Better – American Rescue Plan designed to boost economic recovery from the pandemic and rebuild American communities.

“Oklahoma has a proud and longstanding history in aviation, aerial mobility technology and manufacturing, which has allowed northeast Oklahoma to harness the region’s innovative capabilities and lead in the development of next-generation unmanned aerial systems,” said Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03). “The Economic Development Administration’s $39 million award is a welcome and exciting investment that will cement Oklahoma as a hub of transformational aerial mobility research and development.

“I commend the work of INCOG, Oklahoma State University, the Osage Nation, the City of Tulsa and all other regional stakeholders who have forged a pioneering vision for the future of unmanned aerial technologies and manufacturing in Oklahoma. By investing in this critical industry — and our local and state economies — we will continue to increase America’s technological competitiveness across the globe.”

Jennifer Hankins, head of partnerships with Tulsa Innovation Labs, said the new agreement is “an important step towards realizing our vision and transforming Tulsa into an inclusive, thriving city of the future.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 |

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 33,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and more than 100 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 275,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.

The Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) is a voluntary association of local and tribal governments in the Tulsa metropolitan area in northeast Oklahoma. Established in 1967, INCOG is one of 11 Councils of Governments in the State of Oklahoma, and one of several hundred regional planning organizations across the country. INCOG provides planning and coordination services to assist in creating solutions to local and regional challenges in such areas as comprehensive planning, transportation, community and economic development, environmental quality and energy programs, public safety, and services for older adults. INCOG serves Creek, Osage, Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner counties, more than 50 cities and towns located in those counties, and the Cherokee, Muscogee and Osage Nations.

About Tulsa Innovation Labs
Recognizing that the jobs of the future are rooted in a thriving innovation economy, the George Kaiser Family Foundation pioneered Tulsa Innovation Labs to develop a city-wide strategy that positions Tulsa as a tech hub that leverages the strengths of the Heartland. Through a diverse coalition of public and private partners, TIL is creating programs that seek to make Tulsa the nation’s most inclusive tech community.

About Partner Tulsa
PartnerTulsa is the City of Tulsa’s economic development Authority that streamlines and strengthens Tulsa’s economic development efforts through the merging of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (MOED), Tulsa Industrial Authority (TIA), Tulsa Parking Authority (TPA), and Economic Development Commission (EDC) into a single, enhanced Public Trust. Partner Tulsa (aka TAEO) is governed by a thirteen (13) member Board of Trustees and provides staffing for and oversees the operations of the Tulsa Development Authority (TDA). For more information about PartnerTulsa, visit

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

Leave a Comment