Centennial

Aerospace collaboration launched in south metro area

A startup focused on connecting industry community begins mission

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Collaboration within the aerospace industry could launch Colorado’s already booming space economy into new heights, and a new startup is setting the platform for liftoff.

NovaSpace officially launched on June 8 with a panel of experts talking about the future of the aerospace industry. The event was located at the Innovation Pavilion, 9200 E. Mineral Ave. in Centennial, and was live streamed on the NovaSpace Facebook page.

“Space is so important to not just the Colorado economy but our global economy,” said Jay Lindell, aerospace and defense industry champion for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “It is so important to have this organization here.”

The mission of NovaSpace is to facilitate an “explosion of ideas” by providing the community and platform essential for collaboration and growth, according to a news release. This “ecosystem for entrepreneurs” is designed to accelerate Colorado’s space industry into a global hub.

“With all this construction and change in the industry and the fact that Colorado is such a booming state as far as space assets are concerned, I think NovaSpace was a good idea,” said Jameel Barkat, managing partner at NovaSpace. “It really brings the community together and puts Colorado on the national and global stage as far as space is concerned.”

Colorado’s “space cluster” comprises more than 400 aerospace businesses and 50,000 employees, according to Barkat. The aerospace industry in the state generates an annual payroll of more than $3 billion, according to the Colorado Space Coalition, a group of industry leaders.

“We are here to connect industry stakeholders and to help navigate the industry to the new environment,” said Amaan Khan, government relations and legal affairs associate at NovaSpace. “It is really about building a network and creating collaboration.”

NovaSpace is a part of Centennial’s Innovation Pavilion, which markets itself as a company where “productive collisions lead to creative solutions.” Startups and well-established companies alike can join forces in a collaborative environment.

Anyone who uses a navigation app or checks the weather has a connection to the space industry, Barkat said.

It is an accelerating industry, especially now that costs to launch satellites have been significantly reduced and satellites are becoming much smaller, Barkat said.

Colorado ranks No. 5 for states with the highest concentration of jobs in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But Barkat said the public has yet to recognize the significance of the industry in the state.

“There has not been sufficient collaboration between stakeholders to really make (Colorado) a force multiplier and to make aerospace more visible to the outside world,” Barkat said.

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