Following the 2018 NGA West announcement, geospatial and agtech companies have flocked to St. Louis, creating a new industry sector at the intersection of Missouri’s already thriving agtech industry and its new-found geospatial presence.
Precision agriculture, which utilizes geospatial techniques to optimize crop yields, is not a new concept. However, recent advancements in geospatial and locational sciences have led to the development of more sophisticated models that can significantly enhance agricultural productivity worldwide, potentially improving global food security.
Missouri’s agricultural industry contributes significantly to the state’s economy, and the emerging geospatial hub in St. Louis reflects the region’s emerging identity as a leader in the geospatial industry. The Globe Building, which is a stone’s throw from the new NGA site, is now home to the first and the largest multi-tenant SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) outside of Washington D.C. as well as several geospatial companies like General Dynamics, Maxar Technologies, T-Kartor USA, and Esri.
Academic institutions and commercial companies have come together in support of the growing geospatial community, and several research and innovation programs have emerged to help facilitate growth and collaboration. The CATALST program through the Danforth Plant Science Center, supports the growth of the agtech and geospatial industries. Several research institutions have also joined forces to create the Taylor Geospatial Institute, further establishing St. Louis as a hub for geospatial research and innovation.
With continuous support and investment in the agtech and geospatial sectors, St. Louis is expected to become a prominent center for these industries, attracting more companies and talent to Missouri as a result.