Advanced Industries Accelerator Program awards almost $2 million to Colorado organizations

DENVER — Thursday, March 13, 2014 ­— Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced today the Advanced Industry Accelerator Grant Program grantees. A total of $1,889,972 was awarded for both Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants to support key industries. 

“Regardless of the industry, businesses must innovate or they die,” Hickenlooper said. “This is not a new reality, but in today’s technologically-driven world, it’s a reality that has become more and more apparent. Colorado has a robust private sector filled with brilliant minds leading the way. Whenever possible, we will be a partner. With this Advanced Industry Accelerator Program, we are growing Colorado’s innovative, collaborative business ecosystem and building a trained workforce. The grants will help entrepreneurial companies to compete globally, encourage faster commercialization of technologies and create Colorado jobs.”

The current grant funding cycle for the Advanced Industry Accelerator Programs awarded 15 grants with a total of $1,889,972. The program received a total of 58 applications requesting $13.1 million in funding. Applications for the next grant cycle are due April 1. The 15 grants were awarded: 

The Proof-of-Concept grants are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado, and other private, nonprofit and for-profit labs with valid technology transfer offices. Proof-of-Concept grants are for pre-commercialization research and commercialization preparation. The Proof-of-Concept grantees are:

  • University of Colorado - Boulder: Flexible thermal ground planes for smartphones and tablets, $150,000
  • Colorado School of Mines: Rapid point-of-care LFCC detection of serum cancer biomarkers, $22,500
  • Colorado School of Mines: Polymer modified nanoparticles as contract agents for non-invasive measurement of pH in vivo, $22,500
  • Colorado School of Mines: Virus-mimicking polymer molecular brushes as a novel family of highly potent antimicrobial agents, $22,500
  • Colorado School of Mines: Development of pre-lithiated silicon nodes for next generation lithium ion batteries, $22,500
  • Colorado State University at Fort Collins - CSU Ventures: Smart membranes for highly energy efficient separation and recovery of bio-butanol, $65,000
  • Colorado State University at Fort Collins - CSU Ventures: Concept demonstration of electronic scan radar for severe weather applications, $65,000
  • Colorado State University at Fort Collins - CSU Ventures: Thermal management of lithium-ion batteries using passive electrolyte evaporation, $59,972
  • Colorado State University at Fort Collins - CSU Ventures: Measuring aqueous metal concentrations with the chemometer, $60,000
  • Colorado State University at Fort Collins - CSU Ventures: Advanced manufacturing systems for seed treatment and post treatment drying, $150,000

The Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants fund companies using technologies developed in proof-of-concept grants and other early stage start-ups that created viable products to meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally. These grants should enhance the commercialization of advanced industry products or services in Colorado. The Early Stage Capital and Retention grantees are:

  • BASiC 3C – Boulder, $250,000
  • Biota Technology – Denver, $250,000
  • EcoVapor Recovery Systems – Greeley, $250,000
  • Fitbionic, Inc. - Idaho Springs, $250,000
  • Red Canyon Software -  Denver, $250,000

BASiC 3C is developing cost effective cubic Silicon Carbide (3C-SiC) wafers produced in Colorado for power device manufacturers. The patented technology (HFCVD) delivers 3C-SiC substrates which enable price/performance leading devices operating at higher voltage, higher power, faster switching speeds and elevated temperatures. The result is smaller, lighter, efficient electric vehicle power trains and more efficient components in the SmartGrid.

Biota Technology is a venture-backed spin out from the University of Colorado and Professor Rob Knight that provides novel information services to industrial markets. The company leverages low cost DNA sequencing and cloud computing with their innovations in microbiome data analysis to extract actionable information for their customers. Biota will use the grant towards pilots in the oil and gas market.

EcoVapor Recovery Systems (ERS) will use grant funds to build and deploy their proprietary vapor recovery module(s) on oil and gas sites in Colorado. ERS captures gas otherwise burned off in flares and injects the recoverable hydrocarbon gas into a natural gas pipeline. They will enable their oil and gas producer customer to meet or exceed emission regulations while increasing revenues.

Fitbionic Inc. will include customer-requested functionality in their flagship prosthetic foot product, develop a sample foot that allows user-adjustability, and complete a cloud-based dashboard that allows customers to monitor and report their patients’ safety and activity levels.

Red Canyon Software will develop real time autonomous software that will enable future space vehicle missions beyond low-earth orbit that involve long flight-time delays. Their proposed software uses a layered software architecture and incorporates an existing goal-based, planning solution as well as an advanced, real-time decision-making sequence engine that will increase the on-board autonomy of spacecraft activities, consumables management, and higher-level fault protection.

The Advanced Industry Accelerator Programs were created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in these 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. The programs encompass three distinct grant programs: Proof of Concept, Early Stage Company, and Commercialization Infrastructure.

For more information on the grants, click here or email oedit_aigrantmanager@state.co.us.