Creating new opportunities for Minot; growing existing developments

Submitted Photo This photo was taken in 2017 when Minot Area Development Corporation accepted delivery of the first Robot Aviation FX20 Drone to be sold in the United States. From left to right are Matt Dunlevy, CEO and president, SkySkopes; and Stephanie Hoffart, CEO and president, MADC.

The Minot Area Development Corporation (MADC) continues to have a prominent role in the progression of Minot’s economy. MADC achieved immense milestones within the last year and is making history for the Magic City. With various projects underway in 2017, MADC focused in on creating new opportunities for Minot as well as growing existing developments, such as the MAGIC Sky Initiative.

One of the most monumental moments for Minot and the state of North Dakota in 2017 was securing the BNSF Site Certification. The Industrial Park of Minot is one of 13 sites to be awarded this recognition across the country and is the first site in North Dakota to become BNSF Site Certified. MADC diligently pursued this nationwide acknowledgment and couldn’t be more proud to bring such excitement and potential to the Magic City. BNSF certification ensures a site is ready for rapid development with an extensive analysis of existing and projected infrastructure, environmental and geotechnical standards, utility evaluation and site availability. By selecting a BNSF certified property, businesses greatly reduce development time, increase speed to market, and reduce upfront development risk of rail-served industrial sites. With a BNSF Site Certification, Minot has become a frontrunner for new business expansion by saving businesses six to nine months of construction time, lowering their overall costs. Becoming BNSF Site Certified is in direct alignment with MADC’s mission – to facilitate business attraction, expansion, retention, and advocacy to diversify and strengthen the Minot area.

In addition to creating new opportunities for Minot, MADC also further developed the MAGIC Sky Initiative, an initiative dedicated to evolving the UAS industry in the Minot area. In 2017, the MAGIC Sky Initiative added three new business partners, each representing different fields within the UAS industry. SkySkopes (the first business to join the MAGIC Sky Initiative) welcomed new partners: Ackerman-Estvold (headquartered in Minot), eSmart Systems (headquartered in Norway), and Robot Aviation (headquartered in Norway). With these four industry leaders working together, this new collaboration will provide cost savings in the utility, infrastructure, and oil and gas industries of Western North Dakota. This past year MADC also helped secure five UAS pilot projects under the MAGIC Sky Initiative. Furthermore in 2017, through MAGIC Fund dollars MADC received the FX20, a world-class drone. The FX20 offers the most advanced sensors and cameras for utility and infrastructure inspections Being Robot Aviation’s first FX20 to be sold in the U.S., later this year Robot Aviation will return to Minot to assist SkySkopes flight training and demonstrations. With adding new business partners, securing five new pilot projects, and having the first FX20 drone in the U.S.; MADC greatly progressed the MAGIC Sky Initiative in 2017.

The exciting milestones achieved in 2017 has built a strong foundation for continued developments to come in 2018. As each development is a stepping stone to another opportunity, MADC looks forward to seeing 2017’s accomplishments be put into action in 2018. MADC is dedicated to growing and developing Minot’s economy, over the past year MADC couldn’t be more proud to have delivered such national recognition and international opportunities to the Magic City.