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Colorado State University’s spending on research activities reached a record $407 million for fiscal year 2020, a 2% increase over last year.

The trajectory was welcome news, given the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in scaling back some research projects.

Estimates show that 432 projects were shut down or affected by the pandemic in April 2020, based on a survey of CSU faculty. The number of active projects at that time, however, remained very strong, at 4,290. More recently, the number of research projects affected by the pandemic has been reduced to 227, according to the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Alan Rudolph, vice president for research, said that research spending increased due to the strength of internal investments, which totaled $4.9 million, and an increase of $4.6 million in grants and contracts sponsored by industry and nonprofit organizations over 2019. In addition, the university expended gifts to support research in the amount of $6.5 million.

“We weathered the storm this year, in the face of a global pandemic, and the result is not only positive, but a new record for the university,” said Rudolph. “The increase we’ve seen in research spending this year is a testament to the quality, breadth and depth of our faculty.”


New records for commercialization, patents

Research is also closely linked to the work of CSU Ventures, the university’s technology and intellectual property licensing office. CSU Ventures brings technologies and ideas, the majority of which originate in research laboratories, to industry and the marketplace.

In fiscal year 2020, CSU Ventures worked with scientists who disclosed 116 new inventions. The team also oversaw 32 license agreements related to CSU intellectual property, and 69 new patents.

Licensing income for the university totaled $2 million.

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