The city of Albuquerque has joined the New Mexico Space Valley Coalition, a team of public and private entities working to advance the state’s commercial space industry.
The coalition, which already includes organizations like Central New Mexico Community College, the New Mexico Trade Alliance, NewSpace New Mexico and the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, was named one of 60 finalists for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. After receiving $500,000 as a finalist, the coalition could be selected as one of 20 to 30 applicants to receive up to $100 million toward coalition-backed projects, including Space Valley Center multi-use facility and a payload processing and rocket assembly building located at Spaceport America, according to a news release from the city.
With the city onboard, the coalition would place the Space Valley Center in the Downtown Albuquerque Innovation Corridor, a city-owned site just north of Civic Plaza, if the coalition receives the funding, the release states. The location would house an innovation hub with a 750-person conference location, lab and office space, and incubator-all focused on space technology and innovation.
The Space Valley Coalition will submit its Phase 2 proposal to the EDA by March 15, 2022, and hopes to hear by fall 2022 if it has been selected, according to the release.
The proposal is one of two New Mexico-based finalists for the BBB Regional Challenge. The other, from a coalition led by the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, centers on making Central and Northern New Mexico a leader in creative technologies ranging from animation to artificial intelligence.
During a presentation hosted by the Economic Forum of Albuquerque on Wednesday, Hispano Chamber vice president Shannon Jacques said she believes the proposal is the only one of its kind from organizations located west of the Mississippi River, adding that she’s confident about its chances.
“This will be a game-chamger for New Mexico if we get this,” she said.