Center for Technology Research & Commercialization (C-TRAC)
Mr. Frank Backes serves as the President of C-TRAC at the Catalyst Campus. Prior to C-TRAC Mr. Backes served as the CEO of Braxton Science & Technology Group for 11 years. Mr. Backes was instrumental in expanding Braxton’s presence in the command and control (C2) market, leveraging new products and services that support the entire lifecycle of a C2 system. In 2009, Mr. Backes received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the Rocky Mountain Region Services category in acknowledgement of his accomplishments as Braxton CEO. Mr. Backes’ responsibilities at Braxton include merger and acquisition (M&A) implementation. Braxton’s M&A activities have resulted in acquisition of NPD in April 2013, Gnostech in December 2014, and SGSS in January 2016.
Under Mr. Backes’ leadership, Braxton designed, delivered, and now sustains the current C2 system for GPS constellation Launch, Anomaly Resolution and Disposal Operations (GPS LADO), and is providing the same critical support for the next generation of GPS ground system, GPS OCX. In addition, Mr. Backes has built relationships with space industry leaders, providing them with key mission insights and customer understanding that continues to position Braxton as a leader in the satellite command and control market.
Prior to joining Braxton Technologies, Mr. Backes served as President and CTO of a software development and product sales company specializing in cybersecurity, knowledge management products, and collaborative business tools. The cybersecurity division practiced both offensive and defensive cyber strategies to help commercial organizations, federal, state and local governments prepare and defend themselves in cyberspace.
Mr. Backes’ C-Level experience includes keynote speaking engagements, mergers, acquisitions, Board participation, and SEC compliance. As the CFO for a publically traded company Mr. Backes was responsible for all SEC documentation, including 10K’s, 8K’s, annual reports and shareholder meeting materials. Mr. Backes serves/served on the board of directors for the Southern Colorado Technology Alliance (SCTA), Colorado Space Business Round Table (Chairman), Modern Technology Solutions, Inc., the CU Boulder Aerospace Engineering Sciences External Advisory Board, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, and eSpace the Center for Space Entrepreneurship.
In addition to his executive experience, Mr. Backes has two decades of project management, operations management and systems development experience. Mr. Backes began his career with Science Applications International Corporation, designing command and control systems for the US Department of Defense. Mr. Backes' early accomplishments in the C2 arena included research and development of client-server based systems, dynamic user interface designs and high-availability military command centers with 3-D graphical user interfaces. Mr. Backes also qualified and worked on crew as an orbital analyst in the NORAD Space Surveillance Center.
Mr. Backes has coached Odyssey of the Mind problem-solving and competitive volleyball teams. One exciting and innovative Odyssey of the Mind project was coordinating, managing and teaching students to interact over the Internet with the Mars Land Rover developed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. Mr. Backes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering/Semiconductor Physics with minors in Computer Hardware Engineering and Communications/Marketing from the University of California at San Diego.