Partner Event: OR UAS Summit in Bend, Aug 10

SOAR Oregon is hosting Oregon’s first Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Summit and Expo on August 10 in Bend. This free event will offer insights from legislative leaders, panel discussions with industry experts and advice on business operations from Oregon Economic Development officers. Oregon UAS Test Ranges will be explaining the first steps to get your project flying and businesses will have the chance to exhibit. Whether you’re a Part 107 pilot or a UAS manufacturer, this is the event for you!
 
SOAR Oregon is hosting this event to make sure everyone has access to the resources they need to make their UAS business successful. Register or learn more here. 

Gorge Tech in the News

In case you missed it, The Columbian ran an article highlighting the Gorge’s tech industry on June 4: Aerospace industry, led by Insitu, lifts economies of Columbia Gorge communities. From the article:
 
“Welcome to one of the most resurgent places along the Columbia River, 60 miles east of the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area. Cities on both sides of the river have found success, thanks to landing big players in the drone industry.
“In Klickitat County, the home of little towns like White Salmon and Bingen, the population has risen just 3 percent since 2010. But median household income has risen nearly 30 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 10 percent of households in the county earn between $100,000 and $149,999 – more than double its share in 2010.” Read the full article here.

GTA Scholarship Recipient, Match Announced

In June, the GTA was pleased to announce Margaret Totten, a senior at Hood River Valley High School, was chosen as the 2017 recipient of our Corwin Hardham Memorial Scholarship. This is the second year of this scholarship being awarded to Gorge students pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math disciplines. Margaret will be attending Kalamazoo College this fall, majoring in Computer Science. 
 
In June, we also conducted a fundraising campaign for the scholarship. Many thanks to those who contributed, particularly East Cascades Workforce Investment Board, which provided a 2:1 match for your contributions, made possible by Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission! Learn more about this scholarship here and how to contribute to the fund, housed at the Gorge Community Foundation.
 
Looking for an easy and fun way to support the scholarship? The Griffin House donates the proceeds of their summer concerts to our scholarship! View tickets for upcoming shows here.

GTA Members and Sponsors Encouraged to Take Survey for Our Strategic Plan Update

The GTA has started the work of updating the organization’s Strategic Plan and seeks input from our current Members and Sponsors on our work. Your feedback will be important in setting a plan for the next five years. All current Members and Sponsors (including all employees of current Members and Sponsors) are welcome to take a 5-minute survey. Survey respondents can enter their name to win a $30 gift certificate from Springhouse Cellar Winery. Please complete the five-minute survey by June 14th. Just click here!

R.L. Blaisdell Consulting

R.L. Blaisdell Consulting is a consulting practice focused on strategic cybersecurity and information technologies for business and government. Owner Randy Blaisdell most recently served as the Systems Director of Information Assurance for The Aerospace Corporation after retiring as a full Colonel in the United States Air Force. When he says he’s been in cybersecurity for 36 years, people are often skeptical that the field existed in 1981, but Randy was indeed there at its infancy helping the military write the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria, often known as “The Orange Book.” 
 
In his current business, Randy advises senior leaders in both the government and commercial sectors on strategies for navigating the complex and constantly evolving cyber landscape. His work with companies helps them understand their cyber environment as it relates to the business in order to develop protection strategies from both targeted and random threats. “Many companies don’t see all the ways they are vulnerable and the sometimes simple things that can be done to protect themselves,” says Randy. That’s where he comes in. 
 
Small businesses with all their accounts receivable on one or two computers could be severely impacted by a random piece of malware that destroys the computers, and perhaps the business. Larger companies benefit from Randy’s independent reviews of their cybersecurity posture to protect intellectual property and to verify compliance when working with government contracts. Fixes can be as simple as ensuring basic network hygiene by properly configuring routers and changing default passwords or as complex as a full analysis of your corporate information content to understand what needs to be protected from whom and where the vulnerabilities are in your hardware, software and staff.  “If your business depends on being connected or if you have intellectual property on your computer, you are vulnerable,” notes Randy.
 
R.L. Blaisdell Consulting is a member of the GTA to connect and share with others in technology in the Gorge. Learn more about Randy’s background here or contact him directly at blazeawc@gmail.com.

Governor Brown Makes 4th STEM Career Day Extra Special

The GTA was thrilled to have Oregon Governor Kate Brown welcome students at our fourth-annual STEM Career Day on April 28, 2017 at Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) in The Dalles. She welcomed the students and engaged them in thinking about what they want for their futures to set the stage for the day. 

Around 700 7th graders from the Gorge’s five counties attended this year’s event to learn about local jobs in science, technology, engineering and math and the educational pathways to reach those jobs. The event included a presentation about what it’s like to go to college at CGCC and Oregon State University (OSU), as well as a presentation from Insitu engineers Kenna and Alden Welsh on their pathway and experience at Insitu.
 
The students then broke into smaller groups to travel around the campus and hear presentations from CGCC Health Sciences Program, CGCC Renewable Energy Technology Program, Google, Hood Tech, IBEW 48, Insitu, Interfluve, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, NuCulture Foods, Oregon Dept. Environmental Quality, Oregon Dept. Fish and Wildlife, Qstream, Real Carbon, Research Scientists Miller/ McCabe, SigmaDesign, TacAero and Zepher. 
 
Many thanks to Columbia River Insurance, our event sponsor! Thank you also to CGCC for hosting, Suzanne Burd with CGCC and Ann Harris with OSU Open Campus for helping organize and to the many businesses noted above for their participation. Thank you also to Governor Brown for making our annual event extra special.

Radiant Perspectives

Founded in November 2014, Radiant Perspectives helps businesses tell their story in a visually engaging way by developing interactive digital exhibits and experiences that often combine video, 2D/3D graphics, and animation.  Additionally, Radiant Perspectives works with businesses to develop custom training programs using virtual and augmented reality.  Owner Chuck Evans pulls together his engineering and artistic sides to create immersive experiences that look great and are a joy to use. 

Past examples of interactive digital exhibits created by Radiant Perspectives include wall-sized touchscreens for conference centers, company headquarters, and universities that allow executives to showcase information about their company or school in a unique and engaging way. These exhibits are often part of a branding strategy for outreach to customers and prospective students.  One project for a credit union created a multitaction table with physical objects that could be placed upon the table which activated different stories about the company. The project required significant creativity to make the virtual elements interact with each other in a convincing, yet playful way. (Learn more about that project here.)

In the virtual and augmented reality realm, Radiant Perspectives creates applications to help businesses train employees, and support customers.  Examples include training first responders to deal with dangerous situations by simulating them in an immersive environment, or help businesses improve efficiency and productivity by making information visually accessible on-demand.

Radiant Perspectives’ work is on display at Harvard, Verizon, Pac-12 and other locations around the nation.

Radiant Perspectives is a member of the GTA to connect with the community, meet others working locally in the tech scene, and support its mission to grow the tech industry in the Gorge. Learn more at radiantperspectives.com.

About Chuck Evans, Owner, Radiant Perspectives

Chuck moved to the Gorge four years ago when he was still working as a Senior Graphics Engineer for Intel. After working remotely for 9 months, Chuck had the opportunity to leave and create his own company, Radiant Perspectives. Chuck started his career as an Electrical Engineer focused on integrated circuit design for HP. Looking for more creativity in his work, he returned to school to receive his M.S. in Computer Science, 3D Graphics and Animation from Oregon State. Outside of the office, Chuck enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and outdoor sports with their four girls. 

View their GTA website profile here.

Overwatch Imaging

Overwatch Imaging is one of the Gorge’s newest UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) companies, having recently celebrated their one year anniversary. Overwatch helps UAV companies grow into civil and commercial markets by making custom camera systems for those opportunities. From infrastructure inspection, to fire detection and mapping, emergency management and agriculture, Overwatch’s unique solutions emphasize image processing for automatic detection of needles in haystacks. “While camera systems already exist to collect lots of aerial data, our solutions sift through the data in real-time to find the points of interest,” says Founder and Manger Greg Davis. “Our automatic detection versus a person watching hours of video dramatically lowers the cost equation for commercial customers trying to use UAVs as an economically viable tool.” With better information at their fingertips, civil and commercial end users of Overwatch’s solutions are more efficient and effective.

Real-time image processing is unique to the industry, allowing Overwatch to simply present the answer to the customer rather than overwhelming them with data. The business model is also unique in that every product is made in partnership with a customer focused on a specific application, meaning that the base architecture of the camera system is tailored to meet niche requirements. “We are making exactly the right solution for each individual client we work with,” says Greg. This involves rounds of internal rapid prototyping of mechanical, structural and electrical parts as well as experimentation with fitting the pieces together and connectivity of systems.

Typical customers for Overwatch are established US or international companies making long-endurance UAVs, generally for military applications but who are seeking opportunities to grow into civil and commercial uses. Even after just one year, Overwatch is seeing traction in the market for their products. As a result, they have openings for two new positions and one intern to fill out their current staff or four employees and four contract team members (job opening details here). With two co-founders who had spent years in the Gorge’s UAV industry, starting their business here was an easy decision.”There is so much aerospace talent in the Gorge, the supply chain we need, and we love the community,” says Greg. “The Gorge is an ideal place to have a company working in the UAV industry.”

Overwatch is a member of the GTA because “the GTA is a great connector of local like-minded individuals and companies, both as a connector for supply relationships and just as a social connector.” Greg adds, “It’s great to have an organization pulling us all together.” They also appreciate the voice that the GTA gives to our regional tech industry in local, state and national politics as a way for the companies to express their top priorities.

Learn more at overwatchimaging.com or contact them at 541-716-4832 or greg@overwatchimaging.com.  

About Greg Davis, Founder and Manager, and Nick Anderson, Founder and Design Engineer

Greg moved from the Bay area in 2006 to join Insitu. After eight years there and two with Cloud Cap, Greg formed Overwatch with Co-Founder Nick Anderson (see below). Outside of the office, Greg enjoys spending time with his three wonderful girls and wife (a teacher at Hood River Valley High School) as they teach the girls all the usual Gorge sports and an early love of tech through FIRST LEGO League. He appreciates the strong ethos of work/ life balance and outdoor recreation in the Gorge and is excited to work in the tech industry in such an awesome place.

Nick grew up in Portland and went to school for aerospace engineering at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He didn’t know there were aerospace companies in the Gorge until the small business he had in college re-selling fiberglass and carbon braided sleeves (that he was running out of his dorm room) took in a web order from someone with “@insitu.com” as the email address. From there he found out about Insitu, applied for an internship and the rest was history. After two years at Insitu and six at Cloud Cap, he left to form Overwatch Imaging with Co-Founder Greg Davis. Outside of the office, Nick enjoys typical Gorge outside pursuits, landscape and aviation photography, and making things such as small robots, home automation, electrical projects, etc.

View Overwatch Imaging’s profile on our website at http://crgta.org/overwatch-imaging.

Seeking Interest for GTA Board of Directors

The Gorge Tech Alliance is collecting names of Full Members / Sponsors interested in serving on the organization’s Board of Directors. The Board of Directors fills an important role in guiding and managing the organization. The eleven-member Board currently meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., usually in Hood River. Board members also contribute some time outside of Board meetings for GTA business. Any Full Member/ Sponsor of the GTA who has been a Full Member / Sponsor for at least one year is eligible. Board terms are one year in length. A ballot for the Board will be sent to all Full Members / Sponsors for a vote in April. Please contact Jessica by April 10 if you are interested in joining the Board.