CAPE CANAVERAL, FL. (October 8, 2012) - Space Florida received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for their Boeing/Kennedy Space Center (KSC) commercial partnership project in the category of "Public-Private Partnerships for communities with populations of 500,000+" from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held September 30 - October 3, 2012 in Houston, Texas.
"We recognize Space Florida for creating innovative and successful strategies to promote economic development in this period of global recovery," said Jay Moon, IEDC chair. "Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. Space Florida demonstrates that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using cutting-edge, effective practices that can be replicated in other communities."
The award recognized an infrastructure agreement Space Florida and NASA executed for use of excess Space Shuttle Program-era facilities at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) that led to a pathfinder deal with The Boeing Company. In October 2011, Space Florida executed an agreement with Boeing, facilitating the company's use of a former shuttle orbiter processing facility to headquarter its Commercial Crew Transportation program and affiliated manufacturing and test operations. This agreement could potentially create 550 jobs in the area by December 2013.
With significant job losses after the Space Shuttle program and the danger of infrastructure being demolished due to lack of funding, NASA/KSC stood up a Commercial Liaison Office to facilitate the reuse of infrastructure through entities like Space Florida. The agreement has created opportunities for significant commercial growth and partnership in a previously "untouchable" government facility because it allows private industry use of government facilities through a commercially-attractive lease structure.
"We are honored to receive this recognition from the IEDC on our pathfinder relationship with NASA-KSC," said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. "Boeing's utilization of an excessed Space Shuttle processing facility is only the first of many similar deals we anticipate at KSC that will help facilitate the critical commercial growth our state needs to continue thrive in the aerospace sector."
IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.