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City of Albuquerque Joins NM Space Valley Statewide Coalition

New Mexico Group is One of 60 Finalists for Build Back Better Regional Challenge

Feb. 22, 2022

The City of Albuquerque is the newest member of the New Mexico Space Valley Coalition, a statewide team of public and private entities that have come together to rocket forward the commercial and federal space industry in New Mexico.

The Coalition, comprising numerous members including Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), CNM Ingenuity, the New Mexico Trade Alliance, NewSpace New Mexico, Spaceport Authority, and now the City of Albuquerque, became a Phase 2 finalist for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Build Back Better Regional Challenge after competing against 529 other applicants. The Coalition received $500,000 as a Phase 1 finalist to advance the Coalition’s vision of making New Mexico the place to accelerate a diverse and inclusive Space economy. Now, as a finalist, the Coalition could be selected as one of 20-30 applicants to receive up to $100 million to bring the vision of the Space Valley Coalition to life and bring $540 million in economic growth and over 3,000 direct jobs to New Mexico within the next 10 years according to a Mid-Region Council of Governments REMI analysis.

With the City of Albuquerque on board, the Coalition’s proposal includes a transformative potential location for the Space Valley Center multi-use facility, a key component of the proposal. If the Coalition is selected as a Challenge winner, the Space Valley Center would be located in the heart of the Downtown Albuquerque Innovation Corridor. The city-owned site, located just north of Civic Plaza, is currently a parking lot. The location, which is both an Opportunity Zone and a Metropolitan Redevelopment Area, would house an innovation hub with a 750-person conference location, lab and office space, and incubator—all focused on space technology and innovation.

“New Mexico will be on the frontlines of this century’s achievements in space. The space and aerospace industries in Albuquerque are already doing cutting-edge work, but we have room to grow and innovate,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This is a proposal to center that next step forward in our Downtown core and forge even stronger links to the state’s broader space ecosystem.”

“The New Mexico Spaceport Authority was established to help grow the aerospace industry throughout the state starting with Spaceport America,” said Spaceport America Executive Director Scott McLaughlin. “The Space Valley Coalition expands upon the state’s vision for economic development in aerospace and will attract new companies to operate in the region bringing new job opportunities to New Mexicans.”

Space Valley Center is just one of six projects Proposed by the Coalition, all of which bring a unique offering to a fully integrated strategy, from startup programs, to education/training, to the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. The Coalition’s proposal includes six components:

  • The Space Valley Center multi-use facility
  • A Rocket Assembly Building, located at Spaceport America, which will expand the state's vertical launch capacity and functionality. Spaceport America is the only vertical launch area in the Southwest and Mountain West and attracts users from across the region.
  • An education and training initiative to create the space workforce of the future.
  • Q-Station expansion - to grow the space-focused tech startup co-working and collaboration center, while also growing talent in the software development field.
  • Unite & Ignite expansion to enable space companies to accelerate their product development and sales with access to workspaces, equipment, programming, rapid prototyping and demonstration, and workforce.
  • A Venture Studio and Venture Fund to support startups with services and funding, especially those located in Space Valley Center and involved in Space Valley Coalition programs

“We look forward to joining this collaborative effort and being a part of the work the Space Valley Coalition is doing to create opportunities that move New Mexico forward,” said Chief Operations Officer Lawrence Rael. “This proposal would be a significant step for our growing aerospace industry and a continuation of the Keller Administration’s efforts to build a robust Downtown core and a diversified economy.”

The Space Valley Coalition will submit its Phase 2 proposal to the EDA by March 15, 2022, and hopes to hear in summer if it has been selected for Phase 2 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge.