Mississippi’s Geospatial Cluster Excels in 2007 with Economic Growth, Collaborations, and Awards

December 19, 2007  -- Oxford, MS -- The Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS) is pleased to recognize the achievements of 2007 for Mississippi’s geospatial cluster. The cluster includes 30 private companies as well as university research programs, state agencies, and complementary partner programs.

Since the establishment of the cluster in 1998, Mississippi’s geospatial companies have sustained the growth in jobs, salaries, investment, and revenues directly benefitting the state’s economy with high paying, high technology jobs. Employment within the cluster has grown 20 percent over the last two years with cluster companies currently employing 687 people statewide. Furthermore, the average annual salary of these employees has grown to $57,800, keeping Mississippi competitive with geospatial salaries at the national level. In 2007, cluster member companies invested more than $52 million in Mississippi business operations and generated $77.1 million in revenues.

Noteworthy accomplishments by private company cluster members include:
  • 3001, Inc. being named as ESRI’s New Business Partner of the Year for the San Antonio Region;
  • DigitalGlobe’s successful launch and deployment of WorldView 1, the most agile commercial satellite ever flown;
  • Digital Quest’s STARS GIS certification being chosen for the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Standards of Apprenticeship for Geospatial Technician; 
  • NVision Solutions’ GIS products being listed as one of the Top 20 spinoff technologies over the last 5 years by NASA’s Innovative Partnership Program; 
  • Applied Geo Technologies (AGT) being named as a finalist in the “Best Places to Work” recognition program by the Mississippi Business Journal; 
  • Diamond Data Systems’ selection by CityBusiness newspaper as the Bronze Medal winner for the 2007 Innovator of the Year; and 
  • WorldWinds, Inc., and the GeoResources Institute being honored with a NASA Tech Briefs Award for their collaborative development of an interactive database of storm surge flood levels for the Louisiana-Mississippi Gulf Coast region.
There were also a number of notable achievements by academic members of the geospatial cluster. Dr. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, director of the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law at The University of Mississippi, was appointed to the board of directors for the International Institute of Space Law. Michael Koehler, a student at Delta State University, successfully spearheaded the effort to establish a GIS merit badge for the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Fazlay Faruque, director of GIS and Remote Sensing and Professor of Health Systems at University of Mississippi Medical Center, presented at the Plenary Session at the 2007 ESRI Health GIS Conference.

“The cluster approach has definitely created synergies across the business, academic, and government sectors of our geospatial community,” stated Lisa Stone, Associate Director for EIGS. “Other critical factors that continue to contribute to the growth of the geospatial industry in Mississippi include strong support at the state government level, comprehensive research programs at our state’s universities, integrated workforce development efforts, and a business climate that fosters technology innovation and entrepreneurship.”

To keep in touch with developments of Mississippi’s geospatial cluster all year long, be sure to visit www.eigs.olemiss.edu or email Email Contact to subscribe to the monthly electronic newsletter.

Lisa Stone,
Email Contact

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