Lockheed Martin Space seeks partnerships for DougCo Ignite Lab

Heather Willard

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Lockheed Martin engineers prepare to integrate the second SBIRS GEO-2 spacecraft’s two equipment panels with the core structure.Lockheed Martin SBIRS

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver

(Douglas County, Colo.) Businesses, students and residents of Douglas County have a new resource in their communities: an accelerator lab built by Lockheed Martin Space in partnership with Douglas County.

Titled the Ignite Lab, the space creates partnerships between the defense industry giant and small businesses, schools, universities and local governments.

Joe Rice, director of government relations for Lockheed Martin Space, is bringing the lab to life and facilitating the first-of-its-kind collaborative space for the company. He said the lab creates an avenue for Lockheed engineers to collaborate on promising projects to advance technology and development.

“The name was deliberate — ignite implies igniting something new, and starting something new, and spontaneous development,” Rice said.

“It’s designed for collaboration, designed for us to work with other partners and identify partners, and just do things new and different, find new ways to incorporate existing technology, where we can bring in the expertise, and history and legacy of Lockheed Martin … together with other partners.”

The lab is located near C-470 and Lucent Boulevard in Highlands Ranch — deliberately off the main campus to provide easier access. Lockheed Martin’s security requirements also present another hurdle in bringing non-employees onto the main campus for physical collaborations.

The Board of the Douglas County Commissioners invested $500,000 in the DougCo location.

“It’s not always easy to access a main campus for many reasons, and this is a space designed around meeting and having collaborations,” Rice said. “It was the County Commissioners that really said, ‘Well, if you’re going to do it, what can we do to get you to do it?’ … and that was the conversation that really closed the business deal for us.”

Lockheed Martin plans to use the space for activities such as rapid prototyping, table-top demonstrations and small satellite integration. Rice said the lab space is built, but how the space will be equipped remains undecided.

“What we equip the lab with depends on what things are done in the lab, so we are very much in the early stages of looking to meet with new partners,” Rice said.

Rice said schools and businesses interested in helping outfit the lab and flesh out projects could contact Amy Sherman, president and CEO of the Northwest Douglas County Chamber & Economic Development Corporation, to get involved. She is available at 303-791-3500 or asherman@nwdouglascounty.org.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

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