Brownsville looking to profit from Trillion Dollar Industry

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The City of Brownsville is looking to become the ‘Space Capital of the World.’

With commercial space exploration expected to grow into a trillion-dollar industry, local officials now looking to profit and create business opportunities.

It’s a city-wide effort to tap into space exploration. The initiative goes by NewSpace Brownsville. It’s made up from local partners such as the City of Brownsville, the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC), and Texas Southmost College and the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport.  Their goal is to create new space companies and education on space related fields.

This week, two programs take off.

  • A nonprofit known as ‘Expanding Frontiers’ to foster new startups.
  • The return of the Vibrant Lecture series

On July 11, 2019 the first installment of the series focused on commercial space with comments from top space officials.

There we met with Steve Gonzalez, NASA Technology Transfer Strategist.

“Before, space was only for the government. Over the past half dozen years space has become more accessible to smaller players. Of course, you have Elon Musk with SpaceX and Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin, but we’re beginning to see a lot more people that are able to join in for a much smaller investment,” says Gonzalez.

The City of Brownsville, education partners, and the newly formed Expanding Frontiers are looking to capitalize on the growing commercial space industry. Mainly as a result of SpaceX activities near Boca Chica Beach in Brownsville.

The new initiative is looking to create and incentivize startups related to the space travel industry. Gonzalez tells us this approach includes a variety of industries anywhere from creating legal support, creating software, or even making parts just to name a few. City officials tell Local 23 News that they do not have a startup on board with the initiative as of the writing of this report.

Gonzalez also tells us that Brownsville is in a unique position to accomplish it’s vision of becoming a space capital. When asked what he saw in Brownsville that he had not seen before he said, “we saw participation not only from the university, from students, but also from the city. We had the city management down, we had the commissioners, we had such support we can create companies from NASA technologies. And seeing that support and seeing them take that enthusiasm back with them has been phenomenal.

According to the Newspace’s vision, the current partners believe the initiatives are “the first step in a new frontier.”

City officials tell us that subsequent installments of the Vibrant Lecture Series are not planned to focus on space related fields. The next lecture is scheduled for September with an emphasis on fiscal health.

Sources:

On Camera Interview with NASA Technology Transfer Strategist Steven Gonzalez, July 11, 2019.

On Camera Interview with the City of Brownsville’s Gov. Affairs Liaison, Ramiro Gonzalez, July 11, 2019.

BCIC – http://bcic.us/newsroom/files/city-commission-approves-expanding-frontiers-funding.html

NewSpace Brownsville – https://www.newspacebrownsville.com/

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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