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Geospatial Technology In St. Louis Gets Another Boost With Moonshot Labs

Moonshot Labs is on the third floor of the T-Rex building on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis.
Wayne Pratt
St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is home to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s first non-classified innovation center. Moonshot Labs opens Friday in the T-Rex business incubator downtown.

The new center will focus on geospatial software and increased collaboration with academia and private sector companies.

“What this can mean for T-Rex and for downtown and our region is a real strengthening of the innovation technology ecosystem in St. Louis, especially around geospatial technology,” said Patty Hagen, president and executive director of T-Rex.

Moonshot Labs goes along with the Geospatial Innovation Center at T-Rex and Hagen said both are attracting national attention from key players in the industry.“We already have 30 geospatial partners, that includes industry partners, nonprofits and so forth, supporting this industry and taking a presence in T-Rex,” said Hagen.

The NGA wants the new center to be a starting point on improving collaborative approaches to innovative geospatial technologies.“We’ve taken a step into an unclassified environment with a purpose,” said Alan Hrebec, the project lead for Moonshot Labs.

And that purpose is to bring everybody together.

“We’re bringing collaboration to a whole new level and that means working out there with academia, working with industry, commercial and just highlighting what our expertise is at the national level.”

The NGA has a 10-year lease with T-Rex for Moonshot Labs, as construction continues on the new $1.7 billion dollar NGA West headquarters in north St. Louis.

It also comes roughly a year after local stakeholders announced an effort to make the region a global geospatial industry hub over the next decade.

The GeoFutures plan calls for the development of more local talent, an increase in investment sources and entrepreneurship, and a branding effort to position St. Louis as a global leader in geospatial technology.

Wayne Pratt is the Broadcast Operations Manager and former morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.