October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

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CU Boulder part of $160M NSF-funded effort to promote climate resilience

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

The National Science Foundation today announced the Colorado-Wyoming Climate Resilience Engine (CO-WY Engine) as a recipient of its inaugural Regional Innovation Engines program.

The prestigious award totals up to $160 million over 10 years and positions the CO-WY Engine at the forefront of the nation’s environmental and climate technology initiatives.

As a key university partner, CU Boulder will enable data analysis, monitoring technologies and predictive analytics to develop trustworthy decision support systems, mitigate environmental and economic degradation and advance climate solutions that result in regional community resiliency and economic vitality. The university will also contribute to the creation and acceleration of new startup companies and play a role in leadership and governance of the CO-WY Engine.

“The selection of the CO-WY Engine underscores our commitment to developing meaningful solutions to climate change by fostering cutting-edge research and technology,” said Chancellor Phil DiStefano. “It’s a testament to our success in translating impactful research, and we are proud to work with our regional partners in driving innovation for environmental solutions and community impact.”

The CO-WY Engine marks a pivotal moment not only for the Colorado-Wyoming region but also for its partner research universities. The inclusion of the CO-WY Engine in this national effort highlights the region’s capacity to transform into a thriving hub of innovation, technology and economic growth.

“This funding is more than an investment, it’s a statement of faith in our ability to lead the charge against climate change,” said Mike Freeman, CEO of Innosphere Ventures, which led the proposal. “The CO-WY Engine will be instrumental in bringing technology-driven solutions to life, reshaping our region’s approach to climate resilience.”

Venture Partners at CU Boulder will contribute access to opportunities for startup funding, such as Destination Startup, and entrepreneurial training. Thematically-aligned research expertise from across the university, such as the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering & Resilience and the Earth Lab, will drive the creation of new climate innovations. The university will also provide performance indicator measurement and economic impact modeling through the Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business and will develop opportunities to help meet regional workforce development needs.

“The CO-WY Engine will build climate resilient communities by combining three of our great strengths at CU Boulder: our research into the challenges of climate, our track record for translating resulting innovations into real-world solutions, and our regional partnerships,” said Bryn Rees, associate vice chancellor for research and innovation and managing director of Venture Partners at CU Boulder and one of five co-principal investigators of the CO-WY Engine.

Full story: CU Boulder part of $160M NSF-funded effort to promote climate resilience | CU Boulder Today | University of Colorado Boulder

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