USTAR facility aims to inspire innovation

(Left to right) Utah state Sen. Jerry Stevenson, Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, and Dr. Ivy Estabrook, USTAR executive director, cut the ribbon to the newly constructed USTAR Innovation Center located just outside the west gate of Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Nov. 3, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

(Left to right) Utah state Sen. Jerry Stevenson, Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, and Dr. Ivy Estabrook, USTAR executive director, cut the ribbon to the newly constructed USTAR Innovation Center located outside the west gate of Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Nov. 3, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Officials from the state of Utah and the Air Force gathered Nov. 3 to open the doors of a newly constructed facility focused on inspiring innovation in industry.

The USTAR (Utah, Science, Technology and Research) Innovation Center is a state-of-the-art facility that will be an “incubator and prototype lab serving the aerospace and defense, advanced materials, composites and outdoor product sectors in Utah,” according the state of Utah’s technology-focused economic development organization.

The center will provide fully-furnished prototype labs with specialized equipment that can help start-up companies bring products to market by aiding in product design, development, and testing and technology validation activities.

It will also provide prototyping and reverse engineering capability for mature companies, including federal partners such as Hill AFB, as well as the academic sector to address current technology challenges.

The USTAR facility was constructed outside the installation’s west gate in an area known as Falcon Hill Aerospace Research Park.

Falcon Hill is the flagship project of the Air Force Enhanced Use Lease program and is one of the largest projects of its kind in the Department of Defense, according to Air Force officials.

The program allows the Air Force to lease land to a developer to create and lease commercial space and infrastructure.

Over the life of the program, more than 100 potential construction projects both inside and immediately outside Hill AFB gates may be completed, which will bring additional jobs and revitalized infrastructure such as new buildings, roads and utilities to Hill AFB and neighboring communities.