AIBOT receives $15m to boost Californian eVTOL industry

AIBOT has announced that it has received a $15m grant from the California Competes Grant Programme to develop an “AI-defined” eVTOL aircraft and ecosystem.

The company believes this is a significant endorsement by the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz), representing a major milestone and the burgeoning eVTOL sector.

Jerry Wang, executive chairperson of AIBOT, said: “We are deeply grateful for this significant CalCompetes grant from the State of California. Receiving this grant is a powerful endorsement of our mission and potential.

“We’re ready to utilise this opportunity to fortify our role as an ultra-high-tech leader in the advanced air mobility sector, making substantial contributions to California’s economy and job market.”

This year, GO-Biz received over $1.8b in grant requests for the $120m in grants available through the California Competes programme, which aims to bolster job creation and economic development by supporting innovative companies looking to expand or establish their presence in California.

As one of only eight recipients awarded, two of which were eVTOL companies, AIBOT’s selection “underscores the importance of eVTOL technology in driving California’s commitment to innovation and sustainability,” the company said.

It added: “The grant not only demonstrates the state’s vision of being a leader in the advanced air mobility sector, but also affirms its dedication to fostering cutting-edge industries that promise a more sustainable and technologically advanced future.”

AIBOT plans to create 697 new full-time jobs and invest $494m capital investment over the next five years. Centralising operations in California, particularly in Long Beach and Mojave, the grant will enhance AIBOT’s research and development capabilities, flight testing and manufacturing.

The strategic alignment of flight testing with prototyping and manufacturing facilities is a key component of AIBOT’s approach to innovation, and the company believes this integration will accelerate its endeavours in developing advanced AI software and producing AI-defined autonomous electric aircraft.

Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to governor Newsom and GO-Biz director, said: “Advanced air mobility is an industry of the future, and we want to ensure California remains a leader in that industry. We look forward to AIBOT’s success as they build out their company and continue to grow their presence across California.”

In early 2024, AIBOT is set to host an exclusive company debut event at its Long Beach headquarters, where the company will introduce its groundbreaking technology, products and comprehensive business plan to invited guests.

This event will set the stage for a landmark moment later in the year, as AIBOT plans to unveil its first commercial unmanned AI-eVTOL aircraft, designed to serve a variety of industries including cargo, agriculture, high-speed inspection and medical deliveries.

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