Several Announcements from the St. Louis Geospatial Community; Raytheon to Develop & Test New Systems for NASA JPL; New Funding for Descartes Labs & SparkCognition; More
St. Louis’ Public & Private Sectors Collaborate to Launch GeoFutures Initiative
Leaders from St. Louis’ public and private sectors have come together behind a new initiative to bolster the region’s rapidly growing geospatial sector and develop a strategic plan for the future. The initiative, called GeoFutures, will be guided by an advisory committee that features a broad and diverse group of leaders from the region’s public, business, civic, and academic sectors. GeoFutures will work together to create a shared vision and align the efforts of many people and institutions toward the common goal of making St. Louis the nation’s geospatial center of excellence.
“To win the long game, we know we need to assemble the best minds from the region to shape an intentional forward-looking strategy. We need an agenda for growth,” said Andrew Dearing, President of Spatial STL Advisors and manager of GeoFutures.
Saint Louis University Announces New Geospatial Institute
Saint Louis University announced it has established a new geospatial institute, called the SLU Geospatial Institute (GeoSLU). The announcement was made Oct. 8 during USGIF’s Geospatial Gateway Forum event in St. Louis. GeoSLU will support and accelerate research, training, and innovation in the rapidly growing field of geospatial science and technology in the city. The institute brings together faculty and students from various disciplines to use geospatial research tools to solve challenges and to enhance graduate and undergraduate education as the university prepares future geospatial scientists and innovators.
Maxar to Open New Facility in St. Louis
Maxar announced last week its intent to open a new facility in St. Louis, Mo., to support growth in several programs at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The facility will be located in the heart of downtown St. Louis, in the historic Globe Building. Maxar initially anticipates 48 employees to staff the facility, composed of mainly new hires who will support the NGA’s Global EGD, Janus Geography, and SBIR Phase III contracts.
Raytheon to Develop and Test New Systems for NASA JPL
Under a five-year, $150 million contract, Raytheon will develop new space systems and flight software in addition to providing engineering, training, and operations support for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Work is expected to begin in October. The company currently manages JPL’s data systems, testing and developing software and providing on-call technical support during critical events like Mars rover landings.
EOS to Develop SAR Microsatellite Constellation
EOS Data Analytics Inc. (EOS) unveiled its own synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors, EOS SAR, which are intended for deployment aboard a constellation of microsatellites. This technology has been in “stealth mode” for more than two years. EOS has more than five years of experience developing analytics products and cloud services for optical and SAR satellite data. The company has developed an in-depth understanding of the commercial and government remote sensing markets, which informed the decision to create its own SAR satellite constellation.
Descartes Labs Raises $20M in Series B-2 Funding
Descartes Labs announced the completion of a $20 million series B-2 bridge round of financing led by Union Grove Venture Partners. This brings the company’s total fundraising to nearly $60 million. The company also announced Phil Fraher has joined as chief financial officer (CFO). Fraher’s 30 years of experience includes serving as CFO for Zilliant, an AI-powered pricing and sales insights solution, and COO, CFO, and eventually CEO for FuelQuest, a fuel supply chain software company.
SparkCognition Announces $100M in Series C Funding
SparkCognition announced the close of its Series C funding round led by March Capital Partners. Having raised $175 million in funding since its inception in 2013, SparkCognition, a global AI leader, is now one of the most valuable startups in Texas as well as one of the most valuable AI startups in the United States.
Headline Image Courtesy of NGA