NIAS launches World’s Premier B2B Trade and Investment Matchmaking Platform for Commercialization of Autonomous Systems: Nevada-Global Drone Trade Alliance


12 November 2019.  Following an immensely successful week at the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas 28-30 October 2019, the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site announced the official launch of its world premier business-to-business (B2B) trade and investment matchmaking platform for autonomous systems: the Nevada-Global Drone Trade Alliance (NV-GDTA).  This membership-based platform focuses on delivering a series of annual marquee events to bring end-users, technology proponents and service providers, and investors together to identify the needs for novel technology solutions and the capability of autonomous systems to support commercialization, promote investment, and drive the autonomous systems industry forward.

“There is a significant gap and global need for the Nevada Global Drone Trade Alliance.  Our resilient team has been building invaluable international partnerships for the past two years and this latest ‘in demand initiative’ solidifies what we have already been doing extremely well.  The NV-GDTA brings together an international synergy of the best entrepreneurs to create and advance innovation.  When you bring in this type of synergy to the global drone marketplace, the strength of the NV-GDTA is unmatched by any other drone association and there is no better way to lead the global drone industry, ” said Dr. Chris Walach, Executive Director of the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site, and the NIAS Unmanned Aviation Safety Center of Excellence. 

“NIAS is a unique UAS test site, in that it specializes in not only solving the problems that face operators who are looking for safe integration of UAVs into the national airspace, but they do so in a way that is commercially viable and scalable.  So, there is really no better test site to showcase true UAV commercial technology to the global marketplace,” said J.B. Bernstein, CEO of AviSight, Inc.

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Center for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems (CIRUS) is pleased to be the first official Canadian member of the Nevada-Global Drone Trade Alliance (NV-GDTA). This incredible initiative is sure to be the world’s premier B2B Trade and Investment matchmaking platform for autonomous systems, bringing industry and academia together across borders and beyond to realize commercial opportunities for our international drone partners. Through the recently announced MOU between SAIT and NIAS, we are proud to be advancing extreme weather testing and applications in key industry sectors, such as oil and gas, and mining – join us and the NV-GDTA today!” said Rick Tofani, Director of Applied Research and Innovation Services, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Following the success of its recent International Desert Drone Detection (ID3) event in August 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, NIAS will continue to pave the way for the advancement of commercial applications across broad industries. “Events like the Desert Drone Detection (D3) Challenge are invaluable opportunities to share industry capabilities and tackle the growing challenge of keeping our National Airspace safe. Liteye technology is deployed and operational at Airports around the world giving us a unique perspective to share. Our experienced professionals understand the risks and threats to the nation’s airports and are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with industry partners and the aviation community alike,” said Thomas Williamson, Program Manager of Liteye Systems, Inc.

The NV-GDTA will focus on four key marque areas to include:

  • Commercial UAV Seminar and Technology Demonstration;
  • International Investment Forum;
  • Federal Advocacy Fly-in (Regulatory/Legislative focused); and
  • Outbound Trade and Investment Attraction Mission(s) to select key international trade shows/conferences.

NV-GDTA will bring together the top industry stakeholders in March 2020 for its first commercial technology demonstration event in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada.  “The NIAS launch of NV-GDTA will provide an important vehicle to accelerate the interest of international drone/UAS technology companies in working more actively in the State. Nevada Innovation Center LLC’s (NIC) ongoing efforts to attract Israeli technology to Nevada have already resulted in important visits by Israeli companies to NIAS to explore collaboration models in the UAS space and NV-GDTA will provide the ideal partnership opportunity. NIC has also established a global collaboration between Israeli and Vegas-based companies that has resulted in sophisticated testing of UAVs for the infrastructure market here in Nevada. The demonstration event in Las Vegas/Henderson in March 2020 will serve as the perfect occasion to invite leading UAS tech companies from Israel to establish an active presence in Nevada” said Nissim Ezekiel, Co-Founder of Nevada Innovation Center LLC.

“NIAS aims to build a broad international platform. It is a great opportunity to participate in interesting projects and for transferring technology and knowledge between institutions. Our experience from joint tests of autonomous systems shows that NIAS has extensive competences to build relationships between various entities.  The new NV-GDTA initiative is a chance to create important global technological developments.  I am glad that we are part of this great project together with our NIAS partners,” said Sylvester Wyka, Director for the Center of Space Technologies, Warsaw Institute of Aviation (ILOT).


About the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS):  As Nevada’s designated agency to manage the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site, the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) positions Nevada as the global leader in Autonomous Systems (AS) deployment. NIAS is the synergist, clearinghouse, and learning accelerator establishing the premier smart ecosystem for Autonomous Systems which grows the AS Industry while safely integrating AS into the daily lives of the public.  Learn more at

For press inquiries or to learn more about the NV-GDTA,

please contact
Michael Couch, NIAS at 
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