Camden County Plans Innovation and Research Park to Complement Spaceport

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

The Camden County Board of Commissioners released a report finding that a Spaceport Camden Innovation and Research Park will lead to expanded job growth and investment benefits for Camden County residents, as well as outside aeronautical firms looking to launch new projects. County leaders requested the analysis from Astralytical, a space analytics firm, to assess the opportunities an aerospace research park would provide.

The report presents a collection of ideas for the area surrounding Spaceport Camden based on current facilities and programs, presumed spaceport needs, and potential supplemental and related markets. The report highlights the opportunity for Spaceport Camden to attract research, development, and space manufacturing facilities in coastal Georgia.

The report's author, Astralytical founder Laura Forczyk, stated "Astralytical reviewed the facilities and activities at other launch sites around the country to determine best practices and identify the needs of space entrepreneurs.  This report is intended to offer county leaders a framework for leveraging Spaceport Camden into a research and innovation hub for Georgia."

Specifically, the Innovation and Research Park will seek to encourage the relocation, expansion and creation of businesses among both spaceport users and secondary support providers.  Space related incubators and accelerator programs at the Innovation and Research Park would be designed to encourage small spin-off companies and startups inspired by Spaceport's activities. The report also showcases Spaceport Camden's potential to provide private spaceflight training, tourism, and community learning facilities. 

"Ultimately, launch operations will only be a small part of the overall economic activity at Spaceport Camden," said Steve Howard, Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project Lead. "One thing we've learned from this project is that there is tremendous private sector investment in the commercial space industry and we want to position Spaceport Camden to take full advantage of that opportunity. As space companies plan larger constellations with smaller rockets, Spaceport Camden is ideally positioned to serve as the epicenter of the new innovation based economy.  We also offer unique space manufacturing opportunities given our position on major transportation routes between other launch sites at Cape Canaveral and Wallops Island," added Howard.

Spaceport Camden Innovation and Research Park is expected to follow Camden County's efforts to obtain a launch site operators license from the Federal Aviation Administration. Research, manufacturing and STEM education opportunities are all part of the county's larger strategic vision for Spaceport Camden.