Press Release

NASA Ames Stimulates Economy with Jobs, Innovation

By SpaceRef Editor
May 10, 2010
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NASA Ames Stimulates Economy with Jobs, Innovation

MOFFETT FIELD — NASA’s Ames Research Center generated 5,300 jobs and $877 million in total annual economic activity in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area in 2009, according to a new economic benefits study.

The study found that nationally, NASA Ames supports more than 8,400 jobs and generates $1.3 billion in annual economic activity. Coordinated by the NASA Research Park Office and prepared by Emeryville-based Bay Area Economics (BAE) in association with Architecture, Engineering, Consulting, Operations and Management’s San Francisco office, the study also reported that NASA Ames produced 5,900 jobs and contributed $932 million to California’s economy in 2009. The study also forecast that NASA Ames’ total economic impacts will grow significantly as its NASA Research Park (NRP) is completed.

“As Ames explores space and our planet, it stimulates economic growth by employing scientists and engineering professionals, promoting technology innovation, and preparing the workforce of the future – all to enhance the health, growth, and long-term competitiveness of the Bay Area and the nation,” said Ames Director S. Pete Worden.

Currently host to more than 70 on-site industry, university and non-profit partners, NRP will ultimately comprise 5.7 million square feet of new construction for research and development offices, university classrooms and laboratories, rental housing, museums, and a conference and education center.

New construction at NRP is expected to total approximately $2.8 billion, generating an average of 1,700 construction jobs annually over the next 15 years in the Bay Area, 1,900 in California, and more than 2,800 nationally. 

“With the unemployment rate in the Bay Area for construction workers at 30 per cent, the development of the NASA Research Park may create thousands of jobs that will help put people to work and stimulate the local economy. It is these types of projects that create a triple bottom line: higher education, economic development and good jobs,” said Neil Struthers, chief executive officer of the Santa Clara and San Benito Building and Construction Trades Council.

Upon full occupancy, NRP partners may further stimulate the local, state, and national economy with new jobs and economic activity. Bay Area Economics estimated that NRP would trigger $4 billion in new annual economic activity resulting in an additional 21,400 jobs in the Bay Area region. The study also predicted that nationally, NRP will contribute $5.8 billion in new annual economic activity and 33,800 new permanent jobs. 

The NRP was developed in partnership with the neighboring cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale.  “For many years the City of Mountain View and NASA Ames have enjoyed a close partnership. This Economic Benefits Study quantifies Ames’, and particularly the Research Park’s, employment and economic output contribution to our region, and the city looks forward to continuing this partnership to enhance these benefits for our community,” said Mountain View City Manager Kevin C. Duggan.

The study concluded that NASA Ames also plays a critical role in supporting the nation’s drive to promoting future economic growth. NASA Ames has forged numerous partnerships with private industry, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations that have contributed to breakthroughs in climate change research, disaster response capacity, commercialization of space, robotics, supercomputing, nanotechnology, small satellites, and green/clean technology. 

“NASA Ames fuels innovation through exploration that creates jobs and helps power the Silicon Valley economy,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group Chief Executive Officer Carl Guardino. “This is but one more stellar example of NASA Ames’ contributions to our region, state and nation.”

NASA is working to educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technical professionals, and operates a comprehensive set of educational programs that teach students and train teachers in science, technology, engineering and math. The NRP’s educational partners include the University of California Santa Cruz, Carnegie Mellon University, Santa Clara University, Foothill / De Anza Community College, United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation, and Singularity University.

“In addition to the NRP research and development collaborations, we are developing more formal multi-party relationships, including science, technology, engineering and math education and regional disaster assistance, with the fundamental premise of leveraging all parties’ expertise, facilities and resources to accomplish more than we can as individual organizations,” said NRP Director Michael Marlaire.

NASA Ames Research Center is one of 10 NASA centers with an annual budget of approximately $750 million and more than 2,500 onsite civil servant and contractor employees. NASA Ames is located on approximately 2,000 acres adjacent to the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale in California’s Silicon Valley.  NASA Ames conducts scientific research and research and development in the fields of astrobiology; Earth and life sciences; artificial intelligence; information technology; supercomputing; airspace systems; entry, descent, and landing systems; and small satellites and related technologies.

For more information about the economic benefits study, visit:

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.