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Associated Press, Published May 30 2013

Industry experts set to appear at Grand Forks drone summit

GRAND FORKS — Drones are on display in northeastern North Dakota.

The seventh annual Unmanned Aircraft Systems Action Summit kicks off Thursday the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, featuring the nation's leading industry, military and professional experts.

Officials say North Dakota is well-positioned as a national hub for UAS research, technology and applications. The Grand Forks Air Force Base recently switched to an unmanned mission and the University of North Dakota is the first U.S. college to offer a drone degree program.

Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota began piloting unmanned aircraft in November.

Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade association for the domestic drone industry, is the keynote speaker. He's scheduled to talk at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The event winds up Friday.