Today, Governor Polis and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced a new public-private initiative, TechHubNow!, to strategically position Colorado for designation as a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hub) under the CHIPS and Science Act. The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) will be launching a competitive process to select 20 federally-designated Tech Hubs across the country, with $500 million in appropriated funding available in 2023 to help these hubs drive U.S.-based technology- and innovation-centric growth.
“Colorado is home to a thriving ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurial culture. From our world-class institutions of higher education to our highly talented and educated workforce, we continue to position ourselves as a leader in the industries of the future,” said Governor Polis. “The TechHubNow! initiative is an exciting opportunity to continue strengthening Colorado’s technology industries and to create new opportunities to achieve this through federal partnership.”
The Tech Hubs program is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow the nation’s advanced and emerging technology industries. Today, OEDIT and Governor Polis hosted a roundtable discussion with EDA Assistant Secretary Alejandra Castillo and state business leaders to discuss the future of Colorado’s technology and advanced industries and potential Tech Hub designation. Colorado’s TechHubNow! will accelerate statewide collaboration to highlight Colorado’s strengths as a tech hub and bring together partners who can develop equitable, inclusive and highly competitive applications for Tech Hub designation.
“Colorado is known for its top talent, robust research and development, advanced and growing industries, and strong public-private partnerships. TechHubNow! will put a spotlight on those strengths and accelerate statewide collaboration to position Colorado as highly competitive for a Tech Hub designation,” said OEDIT’s Executive Director, Eve Lieberman.
Wendy Lea, Co-founder and Chair of Energize Colorado, was designated to lead the initiative in partnership with OEDIT.
“By orders of magnitude, this is the largest competitive and catalytic funding opportunity offered by the Department of Commerce to strengthen and further develop Colorado’s technology ecosystems. Our successful pursuit will ensure we elevate our status as a national innovation leader to become a premiere inclusive global tech hub, driving wide-scale, state-wide opportunities for family-sustaining, tech-related careers. TechHubNow! will help Colorado’s coalition to create the most robust application to ensure Colorado is designated and receives funding as an innovation hub,” said Wendy Lea.
In April, OEDIT will host the third in a series of convenings designed to foster diverse, statewide collaboration on Tech Hub applications. Through these meetings, OEDIT’s Business Funding & Incentives division and Rural Opportunity Office have engaged more than 120 individuals from over 60 public and private organizations from across the state, including research institutions, nonprofit organizations, private advanced industries partners, and elected leaders. Private sector interests have collectively made seven figure financial commitments to directly accelerate the work in coming months. In addition to fostering increased collaboration, TechHubNow! will seek to leverage additional resources to support the application process.