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A Message From Our Founding Chair, Andrew C. Taylor, Regarding GEOINT’s Impact On Our Geospatial Ambitions

October 14, 2021

Last week, the greater St. Louis region came together to showcase our growing strength in the geospatial industry by hosting, for the first time ever, the GEOINT Symposium. GEOINT is the largest annual gathering of the global geospatial industry. By all accounts, the symposium was a tremendous success.

The STL 2030 Jobs Plan identifies geospatial technology as one of three next-generation sectors that can transform our economy in the next decade. We make this happen through our coalition of metro leaders known as the GeoFutures Coalition, which guides the growth of this industry in our community through a coordinated implementation of the GeoFutures Strategic Roadmap.

That potential was made clear to over 3,000 GEOINT Symposium attendees last week. In addition to seeing Downtown St. Louis shine, attendees from dozens of countries saw regional government, business, academic, and community leaders stand together to grow our geospatial industry.

I am proud of Greater St. Louis, Inc.’s leadership role at GEOINT. Our team coordinated the St. Louis region’s unified presence under our STLMade brand. This introduced a “home base” for our community to shine collectively and created opportunities for so many Greater St. Louis, Inc. members and community partners to participate in critical panel discussions. We also formed a national strategic partnership with the conference sponsor, the United States Geospatial-Intelligence Foundation, which put St. Louis at the forefront of the national geospatial industry.

In a keynote address on Thursday, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones noted, “With the $1.7 billion NGA West campus being built just north of where we stand, I truly believe St. Louis is at the precipice of a transformation that will reshape our city in the years and decades to come.”

Greater St. Louis, Inc. CEO Jason Hall led a panel discussion focused on Mayor Jones’ newly announced community-led neighborhood planning process. This process will ensure that decisions about development in the neighborhoods around the NGA’s new headquarters will be shaped by the residents of those neighborhoods. Mayor Jones’ investment and partnership with Greater St. Louis, Inc. on this work carries forward a critical top-line strategy in the GeoFutures Strategic Roadmap.

Zekita Armstrong-Asuquo, President of Gateway Global American Youth & Business Alliance Academies, Inc., who we were so honored to host at our Chair’s Council, participated in the panel discussion. She also was featured on KSDK-5 news for her efforts to develop the workforce of tomorrow and invest in new opportunities for residents in the neighborhoods into which NGA is building its new headquarters.

GEOINT Symposium also served as an opportunity for several of our partners in the geospatial industry to make announcements that will help shape the future of our region for years to come, including:

    • The University of Missouri-St. Louis signed an Educational Partnership Agreement with NGA that will prepare students to enter careers in geospatial technology.
    • Westway Services Group announced it would expand into St. Louis and develop a new “SCIF” facility in the Cortex Innovation Community.
    • Arch Grants announced its largest cohort of start-up companies, which included four geospatial companies and 14 in geospatial-adjacent industries.
    • The Missouri Technology Corporation announced the eight members of their second cohort of the NGA Corporate Accelerator program.
    • Innovation hub T-REX awarded the first grants through its new GeoSeed Grant program, designed to accelerate geospatial technology projects.
    • And demonstrating how geospatial technology aligns with St. Louis’ other growing industry sectors, the Danforth Plant Science Center announced that it won a $1.5 million federal grant to support its new Center for AgTech and Applied Location Science and Technology (CATALST).

The St. Louis region and our geospatial industry truly shined last week, largely because we spoke with a unified voice and shared a bold vision. We look forward to welcoming GEOINT back to St. Louis in 2023 and 2025.

This collaborative approach is only possible because of the generosity of our investors. Thank you for investing in St. Louis’ future!

Working together, we are putting St. Louis at the forefront of an exciting industry and creating opportunities for all.

Andrew C. Taylor
Founding Chair
Greater St. Louis, Inc.