Innovate Washington and the newly formed Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation brought together an elite-class of aerospace experts at their first annual future of aerospace symposium on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus today.

The symposium follows a recent proposal to the FAA to site an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research and testing facility in central Washington – the development of which many cite as the future of the industry.

“Expanding the state’s innovation into unmanned aircraft systems is an exciting opportunity to create new jobs.”  said Bart Phillips, vice president of economic development at Innovate Washington.

A recent study from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International noted that this innovation has the potential to bring more than 10,000 jobs to the state.

Today’s event sponsors believe that, while the state has long been center stage in American aerospace invention and innovation, a greater emphasis in the field at the university level in Washington is key to maintaining and enriching the region’s presence in the field.

For more information about today’s symposium and its sponsoring organizations, check this link.