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The Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Grant Programs were created in 2013 by the Colorado Legislature to promote the success of seven designated industries in the State of Colorado. These industries are: Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, Bioscience, Electronics, Energy and Natural Resources, Infrastructure Engineering, and Technology and Information.

Under the AI Accelerator Proof of Concept (POC) Grant Program, researchers from qualified Colorado research institutions may compete for funding to develop new technologies in any of the seven AIs listed above. To be eligible, applicants must provide matching funds equal to 25% of the entire proposed project.

Partnering with CSU on an AI POC Grant

CSU Ventures is happy to help connect Colorado-based companies who are looking to partner with CSU researchers to apply for AI POC grants. In many cases, this is a great opportunity for Colorado-based companies to take advantage of the technical expertise at CSU and to leverage their own capital 3:1 (three dollars of AI POC money for every one dollar spent by the company). In turn, CSU researchers appreciate the opportunity to work on applied problems relevant to industry.

Since both sides are often unfamiliar with one another, CSU Ventures can help identify potential partners and make introductions. Before contacting us, however, please keep the following in mind:

  • CSU professors are very busy. Please understand if a professor must prioritize other activities over your proposed AI POC project.
  • Most professors are accustomed to contributing intellectually to a project. While some may be willing to simply test your product or to implement your idea, most will want to contribute intellectually to solving a problem. For example, a project that is solely programming of fairly routine software code is rarely a suitable project.
  • Some professors love applied problems brought to them by industry, others prefer to address more fundamental academic questions. The best bet is to frame a project so that it will address both applied and academic questions.
  • As an academic institution, CSU researchers must be allowed to publish the results. Any confidential information of yours will not be published, but the research results will be. However, you’ll have a right to review any patentable innovations prior to any public disclosure so that you can assess whether to file a patent application beforehand.
  • CSU cannot directly endorse your product or service.
  • AI POC applications require a cash match from you, sometimes 6-12 months from time of application. In-kind matches are not allowed. The matching funds are only required if the project is selected, but the money must be in a CSU account at the time of award.
  • The AI POC funds are awarded to CSU, not your company. In contrast to the federal SBIR and STTR grant programs, AI POC funds are awarded to CSU directly.

We can help you find a researcher at CSU

We’ve found that the best approach is for you to provide:

  • A short background on your company and the product or service that you’re looking to develop
  • A description of the aspects of your product that you think are most suitable for the AI POC program
  • A list of relevant technical expertise that you would like to find at CSU

With this information, we can begin reaching out to professors at CSU who may have an interest and an appropriate skill set. We will forward any positive responses on to you with an introduction to the professor. At that point, it will be up to you and the professor to decide on project narrative, scope, budget, and other details of the application. This process can easily be 1-2 months or more, so please budget accordingly.

For more information on the AI POC Grant Program, please see the www.advancecolorado.com website.

Have questions about working with us? Call us at 970.491.7100 or email info@csuventures.org.