Representatives of the Ponca City Development Authority (PCDA), Oklahoma State University (OSU), and ConocoPhillips Oil Company held a ceremonial signing of checks on December 13 in City Hall for creating the University Multispectral Lab (UML), a testing center for sensor technology that will be located at the Research East building of the ConocoPhillips complex. ConocoPhillips and the Ponca City Development Agency have each committed $2 million for running the facility.
PCDA, OSU and the designated center operator, AMTI of Virginia Beach,
Virginia, have been in discussions about the project for more than 18
months. PCDA Trustees have been directing the talks throughout the
process, according to PCDA Executive Director David Myers. "This has
been a decision and a commitment that has taken a great deal of study,
consideration and soul searching. We know it's a great deal of money
but we have world class partners in ConocoPhillips and Oklahoma State
University. We all have a lot invested in this and we all stand to
benefit from the project's success. The Trustees felt that a
significant leadership pledge would make the difference and indeed, it
While University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) is a partnership between the Ponca City Development Authority (PCDA), Oklahoma State University (OSU), and ConocoPhillips Oil Company, Applied Marine Technology, Inc. (AMTI) has been chosen to operate the laboratory. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire AMTI. "This acquisition integrates AMTI's expertise in intelligence, scientific and custom engineering solutions, prototyping and manufacturing capabilities, and other areas with SAIC's technical and operational presence to support the most challenging missions facing our nation's intelligence, special warfare and homeland security communities," said Lawrence Prior, president of SAIC's Intelligence and Security Group. "We look forward to combining AMTI's capabilities with our offerings and are pleased to welcome AMTI's employees and exceptional leadership team to SAIC."
A recent economic analysis conducted by PCDA said that the project would have an economic benefit of $120 million over the next ten years. PCDA Trustee and Treasurer Chuck Van Cleave noted, however, that a potentially larger benefit could come from companies that will move to the area over time to work closely with the center. Said Van Cleave, "the spin-off effects of a project such as this are often much greater than the impact of the direct jobs. This has the potential for significant additional jobs, investment and growth in Ponca City."
Members of the audience rose to give a standing ovation at the conclusion of this historic ceremony.
Take a look at our slideshow of photos that we took at the ceremony. If you attended you should be able to find yourself in one of them.