Woolpert Opens Maritime Systems Hub in Gulfport Blue Economy Innovation District
The office will support the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Blue Initiative, which is dedicated to maritime innovation and advancing the blue economy.
GULFPORT, Miss. (March 13, 2023) — Woolpert has opened its Maritime Systems Hub in the Gulf & Ship Island Building, a collaborative workspace in the Gulfport Blue Economy Innovation District. The historic building on the Mississippi coast hosts entrepreneurs, startups, and companies researching and developing blue technologies, which drive sustainable innovation related to oceans, the economy, and the maritime industry.
The Maritime Systems Hub is a function of the Gulf Blue Initiative, which is led by the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and aligns blue technology talent, regions, and research capabilities that will help develop solutions to global challenges and advance the blue economy.
Later this year, Woolpert will expand its maritime technology presence further by opening an additional office in the new Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise (OE), also in Gulfport. The OE is a research and development partnership program that also works in collaboration with USM and is focused on uncrewed maritime systems, ocean data science, and blue technology innovation.
“These offices work as incubators for the world’s foremost maritime scientists and researchers from across public, private, government, and academic agencies, enabling them to work collaboratively to address global issues and accelerate the new blue economy,” said Woolpert Vice President Nathan Hopper, Ph.D., the firm’s discipline leader for sensors. “Establishing this hub aligns with our expanding capabilities in bathymetry, hydrography, integrating lidar and multibeam sonar data collection, etc. It will provide an avenue for innovation that spans the geospatial industry.”
Hopper added that this new office devoted to industry innovation is similar to Woolpert’s Marine and Defense Technology Hub in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Innovation District and the firm’s Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Hub in the National Aviation Research and Technology Park in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
“Since COVID, these collaborative research facilities have been the trend, and our experience with these partnership programs has been extremely positive,” Hopper said. “Working side by side daily with clients and colleagues, we are advancing needed technologies quickly, cooperatively, and with multiple end users in mind. Moving forward, I hope to help connect these hubs of expertise to develop increasingly integrated technologies.”
Woolpert is the premier architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG) and strategic consulting firm, with a vision to become one of the best companies in the world. We innovate within and across markets to effectively serve public, private, and government clients worldwide. Woolpert is a top 100 ENR Global Design firm, earned six straight Great Place to Work certifications, and actively nurtures a culture of growth, inclusion, diversity, and respect. Founded in 1911 in Dayton, Ohio, Woolpert has been America’s fastest-growing AEG firm since 2015. Woolpert has over 2,000 employees and more than 60 offices on five continents. For more, visit woolpert.com