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New Mexico’s First Ever Aerospace & Directed Energy Tech Collaboration Hub Opens in Nob Hill

Project recently awarded an EDA Sprint Grant for $750 thousand

April 22, 2021

Today Albuquerque welcomes the first-of-its kind aerospace and technology hub for innovation—Q Station. Q Station is a collaborative project between the Air Force Research Laboratory, the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department, and a handful of other economic development organizations in Albuquerque.  This cutting-edge facility will be focused on driving high-tech economic development and new business opportunities to New Mexico.

Founding partners in Q Station include: The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department, New Mexico Tech, The New Mexico Trade Alliance, New Space New Mexico and Global Ties Albuquerque. The partners showed off their new headquarters today at 3225 Central Ave. located in Albuquerque’s historic Nob Hill neighborhood.

Q Station is designed to allow aerospace, directed energy and related tech companies to work more seamlessly with government entities and private industry to encourage better, faster innovation that the country needs. Q station will serve as a landing pad for in and out-of-state tech companies by providing a work space while they develop opportunities in New Mexico and connect to our world-class high-tech ecosystem. Q station will also house ongoing programs and services to benefit these companies and the entire New Mexico tech industry.

“Q Station evolved out of the Air Force Research Lab’s desire to work more closely with new and potential partners and to have a greater presence in the community off Kirtland Air Force Base” said Matt Fetrow, Director of the AFRL Tech Engagement Office. “For us, the immediate benefit is two-fold. It allows greater access to public and private partners who want to work with us on developing game changing technologies. It also provides a state-of-the-art working environment for AFRL personnel who want to be more tapped into the innovation taking place in our City.”

“Albuquerque is a national leader in space and directed energy technology research and development, but for too long it’s been one of our best kept secrets,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. “With Q Station we will change that. Through this partnership, we can provide City resources to get the word out that if you are working on space and directed technologies, Albuquerque is the place to be. Not only do we hope to attract new businesses to the City, but it will also offer opportunities for growth for existing businesses both big and small.”     

Q Station program manager, the New Mexico Trade Alliance, was recently awarded a U.S. Economic Development Administration SPRINT grant. The effort to apply for the $750 thousand grant was spearheaded by the City’s Economic Development Department and Global Ties ABQ and will kick start the necessary programing needed to support the Q Station mission. The grant will aid in the purchase of Q Station’s cutting-edge communications technology and provide funding for vital programing and internship opportunities for New Mexico’s university students.

“This grant award is an example of how collaborative work among partners in the City of Albuquerque can lead to long term economic growth and opportunities for our community. We look forward to working with the EDA and our partners to bring high-wage jobs and new industry to New Mexico,” said Randall Trask, president of the New Mexico Trade Alliance.

“We’re thrilled we’ve been able to partner with the Q Station on the EDA grant, and support its overall mission to further solidify Albuquerque’s status as a leader in the aerospace sector,” said City of Albuquerque Director of Economic Development Synthia R. Jaramillo. “Albuquerque will continue to focus on recruiting in key industries such as space technology as part of our economic development strategy.”

Q Station is unlike any other initiative in the state or country. Some of the ways it provides new, unique opportunities for collaboration and economic development include:

  • State of the art communications technology designed to create the future hybrid (in person and virtual) work environment, post COVID-19.
  • A co-working space for Q Station partners and the companies working with them.
  • Serve as a “front door” for AFRL that is off Kirtland Air Force base to increase accessibility for those who are currently working with the Lab or who may have an interest in doing so.
  • Provide temporary free space to out-of-state and international companies and local start-ups that are working on space and directed energy technologies who want to grow or expand operations in New Mexico.
  • Q Station staff will serve as business concierges for these companies and will help them establish relationships with potential partners in New Mexico, and navigate our technology ecosystem.
  • The space will serve as a hub for other community partners who will be able to use the space for meetings or programming that aligns with the Q Station vision.

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