DENVER – Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 – Gov. John Hickenlooper joined Speaker-elect Mark Ferrandino, Senate President-elect John Morse, and members of the General Assembly today to announce the bipartisan House Bill 13-1001 “The Advanced Industries Accelerator Act.” The economic development legislation will create new highly-skilled jobs, increase exports, drive innovation and capital investment, create stronger partnerships between educational institutions and industry, accelerate technology commercialization and promote Colorado’s research and development activities.
“We can boost Colorado’s advanced industries by increasing their access to capital,” Hickenlooper said. “These types of bipartisan efforts will help Colorado continue to grow and sustain a long-term innovative ecosystem that creates highly-skilled jobs and prepares Coloradans to fill them.”
Advanced industries are comprised of engineering and R&D-intensive companies that deliver groundbreaking, innovative products. They share common workforce skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as manufacturing. The economic impact of these industries is significant, accounting for 30 percent of the state’s economy, 520,300 high-paying jobs, and hundreds of thousands of ancillary jobs.
Colorado has identified seven advanced industries in the state: aerospace, advanced manufacturing, bioscience, electronics, energy & natural resources, technology & information and infrastructure engineering.
“This bipartisan legislation marks a major investment in Colorado’s long-term economic prosperity,” Ferrandino said. “It sends a clear message to Colorado’s innovators that we are there for them over the long haul, and to leaders everywhere that Colorado can compete with anyone for any industry.”
HB 1001, sponsored by Reps Dave Young (D-Greeley) and Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen) and Sens. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) and Pat Steadman (D-Denver), provides for an incentive that encourages more collaboration between industry, research institutions and federal laboratories, and private-sector funders. It will create a program that will provide grants to those advanced industries that are seeking funding for proof of concept research and development, early stage capital and retention, and infrastructure.
The program will be managed out of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), which will work with research institutions, industry partners and the Economic Development Commission to qualify companies and disburse funds.
“The funding that Colorado’s advanced industries will receive through these new grants will help convert ideas into real jobs, enable us to keep and grow companies we help create, and build a foundation to help companies succeed,” said Ken Lund, executive director of OEDIT. “Colorado has a vast network of assets including world class research institutions and federal labs, universities, innovative companies, and a highly educated workforce. Aligning, leveraging and integrating these assets around opportunities to grow the advanced industries will establish Colorado as a global competitor and technology hub, and turn Colorado’s basic research strengths into viable companies that remain here.”
How HB 1001 will help the Colorado economy:
Eligibility Requirements for Grants:Proof-of-Concept Grants
Early Stage Capital & Retention Grants
Some funding sources for HB 1001 have been identified, and the Governor’s Office will work with the General Assembly on the funding details.