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Partnership sparks innovation in Douglas County

Lockheed Martin Ignite Lab now operating thanks in part to $500,000 grant approved by Douglas County Commissioners

Posted on August 16, 2023 News and Events


A thriving economy is important to you, your business, and your child’s future. This week, Lockheed Martin, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners and the Northwest Douglas County Chamber & Economic Development Corporation celebrated the new local opportunities available through Lockheed’s Ignite Lab in Highlands Ranch.

The Ignite Lab, which is already working toward strengthening local innovation, business and technology advancements, opened in 2022. It is funded both privately and by a $500,000 grant from Douglas County.

“Space exploration represents endless possibility and the freedom and tenacity to explore the unknown, to face what’s ahead,” said Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon. “In Douglas County, one of our core priorities is Economic Foundations. We want to support efforts that provide employment and feed our talent pipeline. We’re proud to partner with Lockheed Martin on their new Ignite Lab. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Lockheed Martin created the Ignite Lab to encourage the development of new technologies and applications by collaborating with external partners and enabling innovation. Located in Highlands Ranch, the Ignite Lab can be accessible to approved companies in Douglas County to collaborate with aerospace industry experts and engage the next generation of young minds through strategic STEM partnerships.

With the help of Douglas County’s grant and Northwest Douglas County Chamber & EDC’s collaborative groundwork for the grant, Lockheed Martin has populated the lab with an array of highly advanced technology resources, including electrical and thermal testing equipment, digital and optical microscopes, a 3D printer and more. The lab has also hosted the Colorado Space Business Roundtable Aerospace Internship Program and Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Tours for Teachers in collaboration with Douglas County.

“Colorado has been home to Lockheed Martin since 1956, and we are immensely grateful for the Douglas County government’s support of our Ignite Lab,” said Sonia Phares, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Ignite. “These types of partnerships will help drive the future STEM pipeline in the area, further connect Lockheed Martin to this community and support access to the aerospace and defense industry supply chain for local businesses.”

“Colorado, and Douglas County, should remain a leader in the aerospace industry, and the Ignite Lab will help ensure that,” said Ellie Reynolds, President and CEO of the Northwest Douglas County Chamber and Economic Development Council. “It will be an essential piece of the workforce development puzzle, providing opportunities for our students to get engaged in the industry and launch their careers near home. This is a fantastic example of how government and business can work collaboratively, and we cannot be more excited to see what comes from this project.”



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