Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) – The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) announced today that they have entered into a formal agreement to create stronger connections between the agency, Missouri’s thriving startup community and the state’s world-class higher education institutions.
The agreement, known as a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), is a first for both NGA and MTC and will allow small businesses and educational institutions to license NGA’s intellectual property.
“We are pleased that the NGA is expanding its footprint in Missouri through this partnership with MTC,” Missouri Governor Mike Parson said. “The agreement provides Missouri small businesses invaluable access to cutting-edge technology that will enhance innovation and help move Missouri’s economy forward.”
Under the agreement, MTC will identify startups and universities with an interest in licensing and further developing NGA’s patented technology, opening more doors to opportunity for entrepreneurs and researchers across the state.
“Our goal with this partnership is to streamline access to groundbreaking geospatial intellectual property for Missouri’s entrepreneurs and academic institutions in a way that will help expand Missouri’s thriving innovation economy,” MTC Chairman Jason Hall said. “We are excited to better serve NGA, Missouri entrepreneurs and our universities with this big step forward, and we appreciate the confidence NGA has placed in MTC and the state of Missouri.”
The partnership with MTC supports Missouri’s overall efforts to assist NGA in its mission and grow the regional geospatial industry. According to a report from the Missouri Department of Economic Development, NGA’s current Missouri presence represents $600 million in gross state product and 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. The same report projects the national geospatial industry to be a $100 billion market within the next five years, accounting for over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“NGA’s relationship with MTC will support technology transfer and economic development in the St. Louis area,” NGA Director, Vice Adm. Robert Sharp said. “We’re very excited for the opportunity to continue to invest in and build on the region’s vibrant geospatial ecosystem in support of enhancing our national security. We’re going to do great things together.”
In 2016, NGA chose St. Louis for its new $1.75 billion West headquarters that will support its mission to provide geospatial intelligence for U.S. national security efforts. The land site for the facility was officially transferred to the federal government in December, and construction is expected to begin in late 2019. NGA anticipates employing over 3,000 people at the new state-of-the-art West headquarters.
In addition to serving as a statewide connector for Missouri’s innovation community, MTC makes direct investments in Missouri startups and supports infrastructure that supports Missouri entrepreneurs and small businesses.
To date, MTC has deployed $48 million in funding to 126 innovative startup companies through its IDEA Fund, helping those startups raise over $600 million in additional private capital. MTC has also partnered with 60 non-profit organizations in communities across the state, investing $29 million investment in infrastructure to serve thousands of additional small business clients.