On August 17th I met Major General (Ret.) Jay Lindell at the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (http://choosecolorado.com/) (OEDIT).
OEDIT’s mission is to promote Colorado industry domestically and internationally and promote Colorado as the right place for companies to set up their businesses.
Jay Lindell is Colorado’s Aerospace and Defence Industry Champion, a position created following the publication of the Brookings Institution report “Launch! Taking Colorado’s Space Economy to the Next Level” (https://www.brookings.edu/research/launch-taking-colorados-space-economy-to-the-next-level/)
The report advised the state to “brand and relentlessly market Colorado’s space economy” suggesting that a dedicated “sector champion…can further these efforts while at the same time spearheading space cluster development and ensuring regular dialogue with stakeholders.”
I had a long and interesting conversation with Jay Lindell who has taken his role to heart. He emphasised that the key to Colorado’s success in attracting and keeping aerospace industry is the state’s very favourable business climate and its attractive natural environment.
Jay Lindell pointed out that commercial space development goes hand in hand with government funding. Government funding is essential for R&D and in order to maintain the space industrial base (which is critical from a Defence standpoint). However, aerospace industry should be less dependent on it and strive to deliver affordable technology and products.
After meeting Jay Lindell, I attended the 8th Beers, Brats, and Burgers event organised by the Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR). CSBR (http://www.coloradosbr.org/) is a non-profit corporation set up to promote the growth of space and space-related industry in Colorado which brings together aerospace stakeholders from industry, government and academia. The event was good fun and a great opportunity to meet people from the space community.