November 18-19, 1999
ITEM 105-2704-R1199 Authorization to Establish the Montana Commercial Space Policy Institute; Montana State University-Billings
THAT: The Board of Regents of the Montana University System authorizes Montana State University-Billings to establish the Commercial Space Policy Institute as part of the function and purpose of the Urban Institute.
EXPLANATION: Montana State University-Billings has been asked by the Montana Department of Commerce to establish a Commercial Space Policy Institute for the purpose of assisting in the development of the space industry in Montana. Montana State University-Billings has been involved with the Big Sky Economic Development Authority and the Montana Department of Commerce in collective and collaborative efforts to expand Montana=s economic base to include the space industry. To this end, Montana State University-Billings proposes to establish the Commercial Space Policy Institute within the Urban Institute, which is, and has been for a number of years, a part of MSU-Billings. The Urban Institute, located in the College of Business, is a focal point for economic development activities at MSU-Billings. Urban Institute staff work with private and public sector organizations to develop and provide unbiased, cost effective information of value to participating organizations.
Therefore, the establishment of the Commercial Space Policy Institute complements the purpose of the Urban Institute, as well as the Board of Regents directive to units of the University System, regarding System efforts to expand Montana=s economy. The purpose of the Commercial Space Policy Institute is to provide assistance to the State of Montana in its efforts to attract businesses to Montana which are directly related to the space industry. In recent months, there has been a great deal of interest from the commercial space industry to develop and expand space-related businesses to Montana. Commercial Space Policy is an important field of considerable interest to many private companies. In the past, academia has focused largely on the engineering and technical challenges faced by the space industry. However, in recent years, companies have discovered it is not engineering difficulties but policy issues that represent the industry=s greatest obstacles. It will be the purpose of the Commercial Space Policy Institute to examine and provide information related to these issues.