Paragon VTOL Aerospace, a lead innovator in vertical take-off and landing technology (VTOL), held a press conference today announcing new partnerships which will place Brownsville at the center of the development of sustainable vertical lift-off and landing technologies. The partnerships are with Rolls Royce, S&C Electric, ARUP, Texas Southmost College (TSC), the City of Brownsville and Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC). The partnerships include one with Texas Southmost College to provide education and job training to help develop this new industry.
The company also announced the addition of their two newest members, Chief Executive Officer, Ken Peterman, and Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Mobley.
Paragon VTOL Aerospace has previously announced important commitments to Brownsville. The company announced in June 2021 that it is building its manufacturing hub in the City of Brownsville’s industrial park at the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport. In August 2021, the company announced that it will pioneer the urban air taxi movement in the Rio Grande Valley.
About the partnerships announced today, Byron Thurber, Associate Principal of ARUP said:
“ARUP is looking forward to working with Paragon VTOL Aerospace on the planning and design of vertiports and microgrids to support this exciting new transportation system.”
ARUP is a 75-year-old global engineering and design firm, with over 16,000 staff working in 140 offices in 90 countries, focused on sustainable development for the built environment.
Javier Gonzalez of Rolls Royce Solutions America, Inc., said:
“Rolls Royce Solutions America, Inc. is offering our support and interest in working with Paragon to develop the sustainable infrastructure needed to power this exciting venture in Brownsville, Texas.”
Tom Hawes of S&C Electric Company, Director of Business Development, said:
“We look forward to advancing Paragon’s vision in building a sustainable energy solution for VTOL and Vertiports.”
S&C specializes in the switching, protection, and control of electric power systems.
Dusty Baker of Baker Energy, said:
“We have managed unique energy challenges, and we will provide you with the highest of standards in both the environmental and social perspectives, and we are eager to mobilize and develop a microgrid that reflects these values”.
“The Baker Energy Team is excited to be joining forces with Paragon VTOL to bring the Brownsville community their state-of-the-art drone delivery system. The Baker Energy Team was founded by legendary baseball player/manager Dusty Baker, who “looks forward to teaming up with Mr. Smith’s team and developing a modern, renewable, and resilient microgrid to serve Brownsville to power the delivery system.”
Texas Southmost College (TSC), a key partner in this initiative, will provide students with the opportunity to gain a comprehensive skillset, through developed educational programs. The collaboration with the companies, along with the City of Brownsville, will be crucial to the initiative for advancing zero-emission energy solutions, which will establish a viable, smart microgrid, while also giving local talent the opportunity to expand their horizons.
In noting the importance of the partnerships and the training that Texas Southmost College will provide to support the effort, Dr. Jesus Rodriguez, the college president, said:
“Our community has so much to benefit from investing our youth in the future that is VTOL. By tailoring degrees aimed at securing permanent positions with companies like Paragon VTOL Aerospace locally and internationally, we continue to demonstrate our fervent commitment to being a torchbearer in breakthrough technologies, putting Brownsville talent at the front seat of conversations, opening doors for them globally.”
Dwight Thanos Smith, Chief Visionary Officer and Lead Inventor at Paragon, discussed technological breakthroughs and decarbonizing transport. He said:
“The time has come to start putting together a safe and reliable ecosystem that is essential for the VTOL sector to be more than just a shiny object. Without a reliable energy grid and comprehensive Vertiport system, the industry will face preventable difficulties that could be avoided by strategically using best and common-sense practices. This announcement signifies the importance of one of many steps Paragon will take to enable the viability and opportunities for the VTOL sector to become mainstream.”
In praising the partnerships, Mayor Trey Mendez said:
“The City of Brownsville is at the forefront of innovation in aerospace, transportation, and energy sectors that translate into partnerships with cutting edge companies, such as Paragon VTOL Aerospace and the companies mentioned today. Paragon is a company that recognizes the strength of our binational economy with Mexico, while also utilizing local talent at TSC, who will be a key partner in tailoring educational degrees to meet our exponential current and future workforce needs. We must go beyond what we feel is possible, beyond these limits and seize opportunities like these with Paragon and other companies, and our local community college. We are seeing the future, and it’s happening in Brownsville.”