OEDIT seeds infrastructure innovation with $1.7M in grants to fund two Colorado organizations

Friday June 19, 2020 Tags: Denver, Colorado OEDIT

DENVER Â­ -- The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)  announced its latest cycle of infrastructure grantees for the Advanced Industry Accelerator Grant Program with two projects totaling $1.7 million in collaborative infrastructure grants approved by Colorado’s Economic Development Commission.OEDIT_logoUSE   

Advanced Industry Infrastructure Funding Grants provide state funding to collaborative projects that have a broad, industry-wide impact across one or more of Colorado’s Advanced Industries.

Eligible projects must demonstrate solutions that provide workforce training, engage multiple industry partners or advance industry mentorship for Colorado companies:

* $1,500,000 – Fort Lewis College (Durango) -- The Fort Lewis Solar Innovation Park is a collaboration between Fort Lewis College, La Plata Electric Association, Teledyne Brown, Lockheed Martin Space and King Energy.

The Park fills a supply-chain gap, provides workforce development, and increases capacity for growth in three advanced industries: Renewable Energy, Aerospace, and Infrastructure; and matching funds are already in place.

This grant will provide funding for the initial build of The Park which will be made up of a new two-megawatt solar installation and a laboratory for field study on the Old Fort Lewis property in Hesperus. Upon completion, The Park will be immediately self-sustaining from electricity revenues. The project will be completed within 12 months of the grant award.

* $200,000 – GeoVisual Technologies, Inc. (Westminster) -- The proposed Precision Agriculture Collaboration Initiative (PACI) will assist the commercial growth of both large and small Colorado businesses in six of OEDIT’s Advanced Industries by targeting opportunities in the overlooked and underserved agriculture sector-particularly for high-value and perishable crops such as fruits, vegetables and hemp.

Agriculture is one of Colorado’s key industries and the essential elements are in place along the Colorado Front Range for the emergence and growth of an innovation-led agriculture and food industry cluster (Graff, Berklund and Rennals, 2014).

However, given the production complexities of agriculturel, plus the added challenges with high value and perishable crops, substantial customer and market insight is required to accelerate technology adoption and business growth in this nascent market segment for Advanced Industry companies.

PACI will organize ongoing collaboration between Colorado companies and universities developing technologies in the six Advanced Industries, and the growers, processors and shippers of agricultural products operating principally in the Western U.S. Involving national research programs and commercial and academic stakeholders, the initiative also will promote opportunities for applied research and tech development focused on the pressing issues in the high value ag sector, driving additional business and employment growth for the state.