“This new center is poised to facilitate conversations and connections among local community leaders, policy makers, and academic and geospatial ecosystem partners”
ST. LOUIS — The University of Missouri-St. Louis has launched a new geospatial technology-focused center at the T-REX incubator in downtown St. Louis.
UMSL said Tuesday it has created the National Security and Community Policy Collaborative, a new initiative located at T-REX’s Geospatial Innovation Center. The university’s new center is part of its College of Arts and Sciences.
“This new center is poised to facilitate conversations and connections among local community leaders, policy makers, and academic and geospatial ecosystem partners. Those linkages will help inform us on how to best employ geospatial technologies, the social sciences, and innovations to address community problems and drive better public policies and an even more vibrant St. Louis,” said Andrew Kersten, dean of UMSL’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Robert Ubbelohde has been hired by UMSL as founding director of the National Security and Community Policy Collaborative. Ubbelohde, who joined the university in April, formerly worked at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for 32 years.
UMSL’s announcement of its new facility follows plans unveiled last week by NGA to open a geospatial “moonshot” lab at the downtown incubator. T-REX is a nonprofit innovation and entrepreneur development facility at 911 Washington Ave., offering coworking space, a technology incubator and other resources. The facility is less than two miles from where NGA is building its new $1.7 billion western headquarters at Jefferson and Cass avenues.
“The reason why UMSL decided to place (the center) here in T-REX because of the awesome energy and the collaborative environment T-REX is developing here with the new geospatial startups,” said Ubbelohde.
In an interview, Ubbelohde said UMSL’s new geospatial-focused initiative will focus on three main priorities: providing a geosciences talent pathway; creating opportunities for UMSL faculty to collaborate with the geospatial industry on research projects focused on addressing “social vexing issues”; and employing geospatial technology to help solve community problems in the St. Louis region.
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