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Colorado Legislative Success for Bioscience, Energy Projects

May 14, 2008

Early-stage Colorado bioscience companies and researchers in clean and alternative energy working to commercialize new technologies are among the victors of Colorado’s legislative session that ended last week.
To encourage bioscience research and speed technology commercialization, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law HB 1001, establishing the Colorado Bioscience Research Grant Program. The grant program will provide $26.5 million over five years to research institutions and private companies, beginning with $5.5 million this year. Unveiled by the governor last fall, the program is the first portion of the administration’s business development package to be approved by legislators (see the Oct. 3, 2007 issue of the Digest).
The legislation mandates that at least 30 percent of the funds go toward university and research institution technology transfer offices to accelerate the development of research projects focusing on life sciences, engineering, material sciences, computer sciences, photonics or nanotechnology. Another 30 percent of the funds will go to early-stage bioscience companies that are commercializing technology from a Colorado research institution or technology transfer office. Other funds will be distributed for infrastructure development.
Research institutions are eligible for $150,000 per project, and grants of up to $250,000 per project will be awarded to Colorado companies that have received no more than $5 million in funding and employ 20 or fewer people. The program will be administered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development.
Adding to the excitement surrounding the bioscience industry throughout the state, Colorado State University announced in March a new Clean Energy Supercluster, dubbed "Cenergy," to help accelerate the university’s clean energy research to the marketplace. Superclusters are an alliance of academic researchers, economists and business experts organized to address global challenges and encourage collaboration among business and academia.
Gov. Bill Ritter also signed the fiscal year 2008-09 budget into law last week, providing $7.65 million for the Clean Energy Fund, $2 million for the Colorado Renewable Energy Authority, and $2 million for solar incentives.
The Clean Energy Fund appropriation will be used to attract renewable energy industry investment, assist researchers in transferring technology to the marketplace, and provide incentives for the use of energy efficient and renewable energy products, according to the governor’s office.
The enacted budget, HB 1375, may be viewed through the Colorado General Assembly at: http://www.leg.state.co.us/

Colorador&d, commercialization