Moving the Cafe Foundation’s annual symposium to Oshkosh was a success, executive director Yolanka Wulff told AVweb this week, and the event will return to the same venue next year. The symposium was previously held in California, but Cafe tried the move, reasoning that since most of their attendees also go to AirVenture, an Oshkosh site would make it easier for them to do both in one trip. The event was held at the University of Wisconsin Alumni Conference Center, just 10 minutes from the EAA grounds, on Saturday and Sunday. This year, EAA’s Innovation Committee attended the event, and Wulff said they plan to continue discussions to find ways Cafe and EAA can work together to benefit both groups. The meeting, with about 20 speakers, focused on “urban air mobility.”
“It was a good lens to focus the conference,” Wulff said. “We talked about emissions, noise, public acceptance, safety, fuel efficiency, autonomy, airspace management and urban planning, all the things we’ve been talking about for a long time.” Speakers at the symposium reported on emerging technologies and markets in electric propulsion and the challenges the industry is facing. For the first time, the meeting had an investor panel, with two speakers from investment firms that focus on aerospace. Wulff also said Cafe is looking into expanding its role into testing and evaluating and reporting on the new technologies. “We’ll be looking at that over the next year, how that would work and how it would be useful,” Wulff said.