CSU, several area companies awarded $4.6M in state accelerator grants

Colorado State University and nearly a dozen businesses in Boulder, Broomfield and Weld counties on Thursday were among those announced as recipients of Advanced Industry Accelerator grants from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

A total of $4,634,779 will be awarded for the Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants to support Colorado’s advanced industries.

“We are thrilled to grant these innovative organizations with funds needed to help scale their technologies,” said OEDIT executive director Fiona Arnold in a prepared statement. “The Advanced Industries Program continues to be a great success, and it has attracted other state agencies, such as the Colorado Energy Office, to put funding and resources into the program to reach even more Colorado organizations.”

Colorado State University received three of the Proof-of-Concept grants, which are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other labs with valid technology-transfer offices. These grants are for pre-commercialization research and commercialization preparation.

CSU researchers were awarded $150,000 to develop an advanced filtration technology to safely and efficiently remove water from human milk, creating beneficial nutrients to promote neonate growth. They also won $55,732 to create a new product for the clinical treatment of large bone defects, and $150,000 to improve remote monitoring of animal health care and owner compliance to significantly improve pet well-being while reducing care costs.

Five businesses in Boulder and one each in Superior, Broomfield and Keenesburg were among 21 statewide to win Early Stage Capital and Retention grants, which fund companies that are commercializing innovative technologies to create viable products that meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally.

Blue Canyon Technologies, 2425 55th St. in Boulder, was granted $250,000 to help it develop commercial, high-volume spacecraft components.

MMA Designs, 2555 55th St. in Boulder, was awarded $112,518 to aid in development of a deployable membrane antenna that could offer dramatic capability improvements over a wide range of frequencies.

Kapteyn-Murnane Laboratories, 1855 57th St. in Boulder, was granted $50,000 to address technical reliability issues with its fiber laser.

Nanoly Bioscience in Boulder was awarded $50,000 to aid in developing a technology focused on preservation of therapeutic efficacy and prevention of spoilage by eliminating the vaccine cold chain.

Sudhin Biopharma Co., 685 E. Heartstrong St. in Superior, was granted $50,000 to develop a patented technology for compact cell settlers which scale up the inclined-settler technology in a cylindrical and conical geometry.

IM Therapeutics, 11001 W. 120th Ave. in Broomfield, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, will receive $196,889 to aid in its discovery and development of products using a personalized medicine approach to the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

FWD: Energy, based in Zanesville, Ohio, received $250,000 to help it commercialize a combination of emerging technologies with the goal of producing high-quality graphite substitutes from scrap tires. The technology is being tested near the Weld County town of Keenesburg, and the company’s chief executive, Richard Sloan, told BizWest that if it is successful, FWD: Energy may locate a facility there.

Applications to OEDIT are reviewed by committees that consist of business, technical and financial experts as well as an industry-specific review. Final recommendations are reviewed and determined by the strategic oversight board, with guidance from the state Economic Development Commission.

The next grant-application cycle has been suspended to allow time for a review of the program to date, ensure that key program objectives are being met and to consider any improvements substantively and administratively. The next anticipated deadline is July.

The Advanced Industry Accelerator Programs (AIA) were created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s advanced industries by driving innovation, accelerating commercialization, encouraging public-private partnerships, increasing access to early-stage capital and creating a strong infrastructure that increases the state’s capacity to be globally competitive.