The GeoFutures Strategic Roadmap, released on June 23, 2020, provides the St. Louis region with a vision and an action plan to scale up its significant assets and strengthen its position as the geospatial center of excellence over the next 10 years. Since its release, the geospatial community has already acted on several of the plan’s strategic priorities and initiatives, and several geospatial companies have committed to expanding their presence in St. Louis.
GeoFutures Represents a Shared Vision for Inclusive Geospatial Growth
Developed under the guidance of industry leaders through extensive analysis and stakeholder engagement, the Strategic Roadmap lays out a coordinated and strategic approach to leverage the region’s existing strengths and generate broader prosperity in the community. Building on the recommendations of the Ferguson Commission Report, the GeoFutures Strategic Roadmap elevates and intentionally centers racial equity to use geospatial technology and the growth of the geospatial sector to promote equity and inclusion.
The Roadmap Builds on the Region’s Substantial Geospatial Strengths
A 2019 analysis conducted by TEConomy Partners confirmed that St. Louis possesses an extensive base of assets that create a comparative advantage for the region to compete for global leadership in the large and fast-growing geospatial market.
- The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), with approximately 3,700 jobs, is one of the St. Louis region’s largest employers.
- Construction is underway on the $1.75 billion state-of-the-art “Next” NGA West headquarters north of Downtown St. Louis and will be fully operational by 2025.
- Taken altogether, the St. Louis geospatial industry supports 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, includes over 350 companies and organizations, and produces a nearly $5 billion economic impact.
- Major St. Louis-based companies, including Bayer Crop Science, Boeing, Enterprise Holdings, and others, are already making major investments in geospatial technologies in national security, precision agriculture, transportation and logistics, and health care.
- The region’s universities conduct nearly $39 million annually in research involving geospatial-related fields and are growing their educational programming and graduate levels in geospatial-related degree fields.
Five strategic priorities define a pathway for leadership
The Roadmap outlines five strategic priority areas and three signature initiatives to scale and grow the region’s geospatial sector to generate greater prosperity and inclusive growth in the community.
- 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 where the new NGA West campus will soon call home
- Brand and position St. Louis as a global thought leader in geospatial technology
- GeoFutures Coalition to guide implementation of the Roadmap and ensure its commitment to racial equity and inclusive growth
- GeoFutures Talent Initiative to support education and workforce development
- GeoFutures Innovation Collaborative to promote entrepreneurship
For more information and details on the priorities and opportunities identified in the GeoFutures Strategic Roadmap, download the full report.