Advanced Industries Collaborative Infrastructure Grant

The Advanced Industries Collaborative Infrastructure Grant helps teams of Colorado-based advanced industries technology businesses and nonprofits develop infrastructure necessary to fill a gap in the advanced industries. Collaborative projects can receive up to $500,000. This grant award maximum can be lifted for projects that impact more than one advanced industry.

This grant's goal is to accelerate the commercialization and innovation of advanced industry products and services by building infrastructure for the advanced industries ecosystem. This program aligns private industry and research institutions to create public resources for the development of the advanced industries in Colorado.

The Global Business Development (GBD) division administers this grant in partnership with Colorado’s advanced industry trade associations and the Economic Development Commission.

The next application will open February 1, 2023. 

See all Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs

Overview

Type: Grant

For: Advanced industries businesses and nonprofits

Amount: $50,000 to $500,000 per project

Application period: February to April

OEDIT division: Global Business Development

A project or technology with a particular application may receive grant awards up to $500,000 unless the award cap is lifted.

The award cap may be lifted for projects that impact more than one advanced industry. The advanced industries selected must correspond to the project's focus. To receive the full requested amount, all industries selected must support the application.

To be eligible, you need to:

  • develop industry infrastructure necessary to grow at least one Colorado advanced industry 
  • collaborate with several industry partners including a nonprofit organization
  • provide matching $2-to-$1 non-State funding to State funding (For example, if you request a grant of $50,000, you need to identify $100,000 in cash from other sources.)
  • identify funding beyond this grant for your project’s current and future operational costs
  • be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State and in Good Standing

This grant is not for existing programs or operational costs.

We will prioritize projects that:

  • have a significant influence on multiple advanced industries
  • focus on applied research and development, technology development, or product/manufacturing facilities to support the identified industry or industries
  • focus on supply chain gaps and supports capability growth within the identified industry or industries
  • directly assists with the state's recruitment or retention efforts
  • show the ability to deploy the funding and create significant impacts within a 12-month time frame
  • are sustainable beyond grant funding
  • are not duplicative of existing programs or initiatives
  • have secured the required match as of the application submission 

Advanced industries technology

A disruptive technology is defined as a significant departure from the currently available technology in the industry. The use of an industry’s currently available technology does not constitute a significant impact. For example, the use of currently available electronics components does not constitute an impact on the electronics industry.

The technology must impact at least one of these advanced industries:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • aerospace
  • bioscience
  • electronics
  • energy and natural resources (including cleantech)
  • infrastructure engineering
  • technology and information

Matching funds

You need to have dedicated money that is at least two times the requested grant amount at the time of grant execution. For example, if you request a grant of $500,000, you need to identify $1,000,000 in cash from other sources.

Dedicated money must be demonstrated as cash in an account held by the grantee; funds are traceable and committed to the execution of the project work. Dedicated funds are demonstrated at the time of the grant award notification.

Eligible sources of matching funds include a third party investor, federal granting organization, and company revenues. Matching funds cannot be OEDIT funding or other state funding, neither directly received, nor received through a third party. In-kind contributions do not satisfy matching requirements.

Though dedicated funds are required to execute a grant, an otherwise eligible business may apply to the program without dedicated matching funds. A conditional grant award may be given to an applicant without dedicated matching funds. Should you receive a conditional award, you will have to obtain the required dedicated match within six months of the award notice. If the required dedicated match is not raised within the six-month period, the award is forfeited.

Application process

Applications are open once a year from February to April. 

Apply online in the OEDIT application portal. Log in to your account or create a new account. To protect your personal information, we manually add new users to the portal, so it may take several days to activate your account.

Application

The intent of the application is to provide enough information to a group of reviewers so that they can sufficiently evaluate the value and competitiveness of the proposed project in advancing the commercialization of advanced technologies. The application includes the following sections. Some sections are scored, while other sections provide important background information that will help evaluators understand your application. Draft your application with the assumption that the reviewers have an undergraduate/master’s level education in both business and the relevant scientific discipline.

These sections are not scored:

  • Executive Summary: This is a single-question section requesting a single-page high-level overview of your technology and this project.
  • Organization Name and Contact Info: This section consists of identifying information about the applicant.
  • Project Summary and Grant Amount: This section identifies the advanced industry sector, checks for eligibility, identifies the technology’s stage of commercialization and milestones to be accomplished through the grant work.
    • Upload documents that verify the commitment of matching funds. Documents may be a commitment letter, or an award letter that may proceed funds being deposited in the applicant’s accounts.
    • If matching funds have not been secured, you must provide the expected timeline. In composing the project timeline, customize the Collaborative Infrastructure Grant Milestone Template (XLS) to reflect the specifics of the proposal.
  • Documentation: This section is not scored but it is used to determine the scores in other sections.
    • Required documentation includes CVs or resumes for key project personnel and business financials (customized Collaborative Infrastructure Budget Template (XLS) to reflect the specifics of your proposal, total indirect costs associated with the grant funding cannot exceed 8% of the total direct costs)
    • Optional documentation includes support letters or recommendations from a business advisor, industry partner, customers, or other relevant stakeholders, and any other files that should be considered in the evaluation.
  • Compliance: The primary purpose of this section is to establish eligibility for the grant program and the amount requested. This section is not scored, but insufficient answers can cause the application to be rejected.

These sections are scored:

  • Preferences: This section helps determine compliances with the statutes and eligibility. This section is scored and has a section weight of 25 points.
  • Project Team: This section provides an overview of the project team. This section is scored and has a section weight of 12.5 points.
  • Industry Engagement: This section provides an overview of the partnering organization and industry stakeholder involvement. This section is scored and has a section weight of 12.5 points.
  • Statewide and Regional Impacts: This section details the anticipated impacts for the local and statewide communities. This section is scored and has a section weight of 25 points.
  • Sustainability: This section details the project’s plan for sustainability beyond the grant. This section is scored and has a section weight of 25 points.

The review process typically takes 10 to 12 weeks. The Advanced Industries Grant staff will communicate all relevant dates to applicants after the application deadline. People reviewing your application have an undergraduate or Master’s-level education or equivalent experience and are familiar with Colorado’s advanced industries.

Applications are reviewed in a multi-stage process:

  1. Internal Compliance Review: Applications are first vetted through an internal compliance review to ensure eligibility and all required materials have been submitted. Incomplete applications may be rejected.
  2. Independent Review: Reviewers independently evaluate the applications submitted using a structured scoring system.
  3. Multi-Disciplinary Committee Review Meetings: Reviewers meet for a half-day meeting to discuss the application evaluations and select the most competitive applications for funding.
  4. Economic Development Commission Meeting: Applications recommended for funding will be presented to the Colorado Economic Development Commission for final approval.

Scored sections are evaluated on a 0 to 5 scale.

  • 5 – Excellent: The applicant has included all of the required information and has made a very convincing argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 4 – Above Average: The applicant has included all of the required information and has made a reasonable argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 3 – Good: The applicant has included most of the required information and has made a fair argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 2 – Fair: The applicant has included most of the required information but has not made a fair argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 1 – Poor: The applicant has not included enough of the required information to make a fair argument in support of the criterion being scored.
  • 0 – Nothing Provided: The applicant neglected to include any relevant information.

Rejected applications

Rejected applications may be re-worked and resubmitted in the next grant cycle. There is no appeals process, but applicants can request feedback as directed in the decline notice. Reviewer names are not shared to maintain a fair and impartial grant review process.

Award distribution

Once an application is approved, applicants must execute a formal grant agreement with OEDIT prior to obligating or spending any grant funds. Project milestones and budgets will be defined in the agreement. Unused funds must be returned to OEDIT and the program fund.

Conditions of funding

Review the Colorado Special Provisions. The expenditure of both grant and matching funds must comply with the approved project budget. Once you have been notified of an award, you may begin spending matching funds. Grant funds may not be spent until a grant agreement has been executed, meaning it has received final signature by the State Controller or designee.

The intent of this grant program is to provide support to businesses that will actively pursue commercial development and manufacture of the product or technology within Colorado. In the event that a company supported by a Collaborative Infrastructure Grant award relocates or moves outside of the state (and therefore no longer meets the original grant eligibility criteria listed below) within 24 months of the conclusion of a grant, the company shall be obligated to reimburse the Advanced Industries Grant Program for the full amount of the award, over a payback period of no more than 60 months. Such reimbursements shall be made to OEDIT and will be used to support future advanced industries programs and activities. For purposes of the foregoing, a company will be deemed to have moved its operations out of Colorado if:

  • the company does not have a headquarters in Colorado
  • less than 50% of its employees reside in Colorado

In applying for this grant, you are providing information to the State of Colorado. As the submitter, you have an obligation to carefully review all information provided to ensure it is accurate to the best of your knowledge and it does not contain any omissions, misrepresentations or factual errors. The reviewers of this application reserve the right to validate or check any information provided by the applicant, and if errors, omissions or misrepresentations are found, to modify the responses to correct for these deficiencies in evaluating the application and/or cancel any grant awards based on such deficiencies. Deliberately providing factual errors, omissions or misleading information to the State of Colorado as part of this application may be subject to penalties and sanctions as allowable by law.

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