Aerospace leaders from across the state gathered at the Georgia Tech Research Institute on July 29 to develop a plan to help expand the space industry within Georgia. The Georgia Space Leadership Summit included representatives from academia, industry, the state government and the investor community.
The aerospace industry presently generates $51 billion per year in economic impact for the state. Professor Robert Braun is director of the Georgia Tech Center for Space Technology and Research (C-STAR). He says, because things have drastically changed on the federal level, the time is right for Georgia to increase its contribution to the nation's space economy.
When I look at what’s going on in space, it’s a pivotal time for our nation. Big changes are taking place in the space sector, which is shifting more to a commercial market. Private companies are already transporting cargo to and from space. Someday soon, they will take people into orbit.
The federal government wants to create additional commercial opportunities and build our nation's technological capability. This is an excellent time for Georgia entrepreneurs and technologists who have great ideas. From providing data about the Earth, developing new materials, biological, or pharmaceutical endeavors, if you can do it efficiently, your idea can take off on its own merits. The federal government would have crushed these ideas 10 years ago. Officials would have said, “We do that. NASA does that.” Now the federal government is reaching out to companies, trying to build the nation's space economy and technological foundation.
Universities, small businesses and state agencies committed to aerospace research and development have a wealth of ideas. Now is the time to turn some of those ideas into reality, into real businesses with significant economic impact.
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