The next, $1.75 billion western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is being built in north St. Louis. But even before shovels hit the ground, a thriving collection of geospatial companies put themselves on the region’s map.
Some 40 area businesses, including massive corporations like Boeing, Bayer and Enterprise Holdings, already are part of the geospatial ecosystem, delivering solutions for the federal government as well as private industry around the world. In mid-2019, California-based Esri announced it would dramatically expand its St. Louis operation, with a company executive calling St. Louis “the natural choice.”
Other companies with rich experiences in the sector, like Planet, have established major offices in the St. Louis region, gearing up to capitalize on the explosion in geospatial technology across multiple industries. And major area educational institutions, including Saint Louis University, Harris-Stowe State University, Maryville University, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, have transformed their curricula to better serve the needs of the fast-growing field.
GeoFutures: St. Louis’ Plan to Strengthen Its Position as Global Geospatial Hub
St. Louis is already recognized as a global center of excellence for agtech and biosciences, and now the region has a plan in place to scale up its significant assets to strengthen its position as the geospatial center of excellence over the next 10 years.
Developed under the guidance of industry leaders and through a process of extensive stakeholder engagement, the GeoFutures Strategic Roadmap lays out a coordinated and strategic approach to leverage the existing strengths and generate greater prosperity in the community.
The roadmap notes that St. Louis could gain a competitive advantage in geospatial technologies by focusing on four industry sectors: national security, digital/precision agriculture, transportation and logistics and healthcare delivery. These industry sectors already have a strong foothold in St. Louis and are pioneering new geospatial applications.
To get there, the roadmap outlines five strategic priority areas:
- Scale up talent and workforce development to meet geospatial industry demand.
- Raise innovation capacity for advanced applications for leading industry and community development drivers.
- Accelerate entrepreneurship and availability of risk capital.
- Support the advancement of community-driven development in the neighborhoods north of Downtown the new NGA West campus will soon call home.
- Brand and position St. Louis as a national thought leader in geospatial technology.
For more information and details on the priorities and opportunities identified in the GeoFutures Strategic Roadmap, download the full report.
The Geospatial Innovation Center at T-REX
The Geospatial Innovation Center at T-REX, Powered by Bayer, is 16,000 sq. ft. of innovative and creative workspace dedicated to connecting and growing our geospatial community. Startups, researchers, government partners, and supportive sector leaders can collaborate and share resources amid an atmosphere of active learning classrooms, cutting-edge interactive technology and world-class offices. Learn more.
2020 State and Future of GEOINT
The GEOINT industry has experienced a lot of growth since humans first invented computers and have been busy improving them. Now we are coming up with innovative ways to work productively alongside computers and advanced technology. USGIF members, academic affiliates, staff and Board of Directors came together to help define the future of GEOINT and generate new ideas. Read the sixth edition of USGIF’s annual State and Future of GEOINT Report here.