South Carolina Drone Initiative

If innovation is what you are looking for, look no further: AINautics, a premier (Unmanned Aerial Systems) UAS "Drone" Training and Service provider headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, is launching the South Carolina Drone Initiative. The South Carolina Drone Initiative plans to change the disparities and talent gaps associated with the commercial drone industry while preparing South Carolina to become a workforce development ecosystem for the industry.

The initiative provides participants with scholarship-based unmanned aerial systems (UAS) certification training powered by AINautics. Participants completing the training will be eligible to obtain their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 A license, required for anyone using drones for commercial use.

The initiative focuses on five core pillars to position South Carolina to secure future opportunities associated with the (Unmanned Aerial Systems) UAS industry through training 100 participants:

• FARM 50 We provide certification and skills training to Black Farmers related to precision farming and new technology associated with the drone industry.

• HBCU SOARS We partner with South Carolina's Historically Black Colleges and Universities to promote STEM Fields associated with autonomous devices. The program will provide certification training and capstone opportunities.

• WOMEN IN DRONES We are creating opportunities for women through certification and skills training related to the drone industry.

• SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS Providing opportunities for Small Business Owners to obtain the proper training to be competitive within their prospective industries using autonomous devices.

• PUBLIC SERVICE AGENCIES/FIRST RESPONDERS Providing opportunities for public services agencies; Law Enforcement, EMS or Fire Departments the opportunities to expand and multiply their service areas using autonomous devices.

The Public Service Agencies & First Responders' attention is to assist; Law Enforcement, Emergency Management Systems, Fire Departments, and School Resource Officers with opportunities to expand and multiply their labor force with smart technology, not human labor. 

South Carolina Drone Initiative

To launch the Public Service Agencies & First Responders' pillar, AINautics is partnering with the City of Cayce to provide training for 10 of their professionals (2 fire fighters, 2 water/IT Department, 2 investigators, 1 park safety officer, 3 school resource officers).

“AINautics is increasing our capacity to make our city safe,” said Cayce Police Chief Chris Cowan. “The training they are providing will increase our abilities to find missing persons, capture criminals and conduct Community Outreach. The new partnership expands our relationships with local schools allowing us to expose scholars to innovative technology. We will plan to offer future summer camps, classes, and demos to expose additional opportunities related to drones.”

As part of the initiative, 100 Scholarships are being offered for training to be become licensed Drone pilots.

The South Carolina Drone Initiative plans to change the disparities and talent gaps associated with the commercial drone industry while preparing South Carolina to become a workforce development ecosystem for the industry. The initiative provides participants with scholarship-based unmanned aerial systems (UAS) certification training powered by AINautics. Participants completing the training will be eligible to obtain their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 A license, required for anyone using drones for commercial use.

Application Period 

Applications will be opened for four weeks and/or will be accepted up until all available scholarship funds are expended. 

Basic Eligibility: 

The following are the basic eligibility requirements for applicants to be considered for scholarship funding through the SC Drone Initiative. AINautics staff will review each application to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met. Initiative categories will be given priority for allotted scholarships. 

For-profit businesses or Non-profit business located in South Carolina. 

Eligibility Requirements:

1. Must be a for-profit or non-profit entity located in South Carolina.

2. Must Identify with one of the 5 tier groups associated with the initiative.

3. Can demonstrate positive impact by incorporating UAS.

4. Must certify that a designated person will attend scheduled classes.

5. Commit to pre and post class testimonial.

6. Commit to a one-year post certification testimonial.

Scholarship: Scholarship will be used to cover the cost of AIT 100 and materials.

Application Process:

The following documents are required:

• Work or Student Identification if applying under Public Service/First Responders or HBCU Soar 

• Valid state issued photo ID of business owner and designated employee 

• Proof of Business Ownership (Ex. Business License, Certificate of Existence)

• Signed SC Drone initiative application 

For additional information, contact Annjanette Dunbar at ann.dunbar@ainautics.com

About AINautics

Established in 2013, AINautics had the vision of a robust UAS service and training company that prepares professionals and students for the unmanned aerial systems industry. AINautics would fuel the vision through strategic partnerships with K14, higher education, government, small business, industry, and action agencies.

AINautics Co-Founder, Christopher Williams, states, "The drone industry is currently untapped. It is continuing to evolve every day. People taking the opportunity to gain experience and exposure now will have the opportunity to pioneer the industry.

For more information, contact AINautics, at 803.760.9286 or 803.603.1387.

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