The Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Colorado Economic Development Commission, to build out IT infrastructure and a unique industry-sponsored, cyber- and space-based research and development laboratory/operations center.
Partners of Catalyst Campus will provide $1.5 million in matching funds to establish the Cyber and Space Operations Center (CSOC), where satellite, space and GPS technologies will be tested and developed for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and ultimately for commercial applications, according to a news release from the Catalyst Campus.
With financial support from Catalyst Campus partners, Braxton Science and Technologies Group LLC and The O’Neil Group Company LLC, the CSOC will provide a technology platform for industry partners to collaborate and deploy two SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contracts recently awarded to Braxton by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
“Catalyst is grateful to Braxton and The O’Neil Group for supporting the launch of an R&D ‘collaboratory’ at the campus,” said Ingrid Richter, economic development director for Catalyst Campus.
Construction on the CSOC will begin the summer of 2016 and is expected to be completed by September. After the initial AFRL contracts are deployed in 2016, the laboratory will be made available to other private companies, providing a co-working and co-utilization platform that allows start-ups, entrepreneurs, established companies and R&D projects to use the CSOC laboratory without initial start-up or exorbitant operating costs.
This unique operating model will make the Cyber and Space Operations Center the only space and satellite private research laboratory of its kind in the nation.
“We are honored that Catalyst Campus was chosen to receive this Advanced Industries Accelerator grant,” said Kevin O’Neil, CEO of The O’Neil Group. “This grant will support building an environment around cyber, satellite and space operations that is unheard of in the private aerospace industry. The opportunity for commercial application and workforce training in this environment is exponential.
“The CSOC will create a synergistic opportunity to educate civilians, cadets, veterans and active military personnel in the practical application of cyber security, satellite research and operations, and software development.”
Once the infrastructure is in place and these projects are deployed, Catalyst Campus and partners plan to engage commercial companies in R&D, technology acceleration and satellite testing capabilities.
Building the CSOC opens the door to innovations such as improving signal accuracy technology that can be used to enhance military operations and also be cross-pollinated to commercial markets to increase accuracy for Google mapping applications, Garmin devices and GPS applications – all part of a multi-billion-dollar industry, the release said.
“I congratulate the Catalyst Campus for receiving this significant grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. This funding will be used to create a Cyber and Space Operations Center on the campus, and it is further evidence that Colorado Springs is rapidly becoming a national leader in cyber security,” said Mayor John Suthers in the news release.
According to the COEDIT, the Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs grants are awarded to companies that “promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s seven advanced industries by helping drive innovation, accelerate commercialization, encourage public-private partnerships, increase access to early stage capital and create a strong ecosystem that increases the state’s global competitiveness.”
Catalyst Campus applied for the grant last year and received the award on Dec. 10 at the Colorado Economic Development Commission hearing.
For more information, visit CatalystCampus.com or call 719-244-0507.