CO: WY: Colo., Wyo Awarded NSF Engines Award to Advance Innovative Climate Tech | Trade and Industry Development

CO: WY: Colo., Wyo Awarded NSF Engines Award to Advance Innovative Climate Tech

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Feb 05, 2024
This prestigious award positions the CO-WY Engine to receive up to $160 million over the next 10 years to transform Colorado and the region into a national leader in developing climate-resilient and sustainable technologies.

Governor Polis and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) congratulate the Colorado—Wyoming Climate Resilience Engine (CO-WY Engine) on its groundbreaking selection by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) as an NSF Engines grant recipient. This prestigious award positions the CO-WY Engine to receive up to $160 million over the next 10 years to transform Colorado and the region into a national leader in developing climate-resilient and sustainable technologies.

“Winning this major award and funding is a reflection of Colorado’s leadership in renewable energy, and will drive even more innovation that will help address climate change, create good-paying jobs, and strengthen our economy. We look forward to partnering with Wyoming to support the CO-WY Engine’s important work,” said Colorado Governor Polis.

The first-ever NSF Regional Innovation Engines competition was designed to ensure the U.S. remains globally competitive in key technology areas for decades to come. The CO-WY Engine is one of 10 NSF Engines selected after a highly competitive process reviewing 188 initial applications.

Spearheaded by Innosphere Ventures, the CO-WY Climate Resilience Engine looks to transform the region into a leader in the development and commercialization of climate-resilient and sustainable technologies that will help communities across the region and the country monitor, mitigate and adapt to climate impacts. These technologies are expected to have direct applications in wildfire management, water resource management, agtech, mitigating extreme weather, and earth sensing.

“Through this transformative funding, Colorado and Wyoming will lead the nation in developing climate-resilient and sustainable technologies—all while growing an inclusive workforce, creating good-paying jobs for Coloradans and making key investments in important new technologies. We look forward to supporting this exciting work,” Eve Lieberman, OEDIT Executive Director.

The CO-WY Engine will produce significant economic impact for Colorado and Wyoming.

“In ten years, the CO-WY Engine expects to generate significant economic impact for the region, including 22,000 new climate technology related jobs, $1.5 billion in regional GDP impact, more than $1 billion in private capital formation, the training of more than 2,000 individuals, and the distribution of $80 million in commercialization grants to startups in the climate technology sector,” said MIke Freeman, Innosphere Ventures CEO and incoming CEO of the CO-WY Engine.

To support the CO-WY Engine’s continued development, the Colorado Economic Development Commission (EDC) has earmarked up to $2 million to support Colorado-based initiatives related to the engine and demonstrate State support through matching funds.

The state is also partnering with Wyoming to align resources that will support the Engine’s goals, including increased engagement of the business community with the region’s research institutions and Federal Labs; attracting more funding to support the commercialization and monetization of new technologies; and growing diversity within the region’s workforce to include rural communities. 

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