National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Opens Unclassified Innovation Center in Missouri

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has opened its first unclassified innovation center, called Moonshot Labs, inside the T-REX incubator in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Moonshot Labs spans about 12,000 sq. ft. on T-REX’s third floor and is designed to provide a software factory and digital maker space to drive geospatial technology innovation among the public and private sector.

“Every time I entered this building, I feel the positive energy,” NGA Director Vice Adm. Robert Sharp said of T-REX. “I can feel the potential, the innovative future-focus collaborative spirit of everyone who works here.”

Moonshot Labs provides a one-of-a-kind environment bringing together NGA, academia and industry to develop technologies focused on national security. NGA plans to house software developers within its Moonshot Labs facility, with other agency employees like technologies and data-science employees expected to be “in-residence” there.

The name “Moonshot Labs” stems from the nation’s efforts to get to the moon in the 1960s. In fact, Vice Adm. Sharp recently sat down to discuss the organizations 25-year history, and the ‘Moonshot’ operational effort to face a future as challenging as our nation’s first journey to the moon.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency broke ground on its new western regional headquarters in north St. Louis, Missouri, in 2016. Scheduled to open in 2025, NGA West represents a $1.7 billion investment and exemplifies the explosive growth of the geospatial ecosystem in St. Louis, of which the NGA is just one active member.

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