While the billion dollar NGA 2 headquarters won’t be finished until 2024, T-Rex and handful of forward thinking geospatial startups and companies are preparing by laying some groundwork. T-Rex Executive Director Patricia Hagen recently announced the founding of the ‘GeoSpatial Resource and Innovation Center’- a working title. The center will be located on the 4th floor of T-Rex and will be the first one of its kind in the world, says Hagen.
T-Rex won a $500,000 federal grant, raised an additional $500,000 from Monsanto for naming rights and received new market tax credits to help build out the center.
“As a non-profit,” she says, “T-Rex has an opportunity to go far beyond just renting space. We can create a unique, sustainable institution here that will support the NGA and the USGIF with resources and tools.”
The center is the resulting brainchild of SLAWG, the St. Louis Area Working Group, a local industry group under the umbrella of the USGIF dedicated to all things geospatial. The group is led by local entrepreneurs Andy Deering, CEO of Boundless Geospatial, Justin Bennett, CEO of GeodataIT and Tara Mott from Esri, the world’s leader in GIS software. In addition to providing a monthly forum on industry news and topics, the group is also tasked with workforce development in anticipation of the NGA’s increased presence.
“There’s lots of momentum and a lot of different efforts in the space and about the workforce,” says Andy Deering. “Otis Williams and the SLDC are involved, the Universities are getting involved. There are lots of conversations happening around geospatial from K-12 on up.”
Reprint from EQSTL
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