The FUEL program is designed to help CSU innovators access funding to accelerate commercialization of innovations developed at CSU.  Each academic year, the technology transfer unit selects a cohort of CSU inventors that are at an early stage of development that need proof of concept data to validate the commercial potential of their innovations.

The FUEL program consists of two essential components:

  • The FUEL Grant (R&D Seed Funding up to $200K)
  • Participation in Commercialization Workshops.

The FUEL Grant Pre-Application Period is CLOSED.


The full proposal deadline has been extended to 5:00 pm, October 13, 2021.


Pre-Applicants selected to provide full applications were notified on September 14, 2021.
For those invited to submit full proposals, the extended due date is 5:00 pm, October 13, 2021.
Questions regarding the FUEL Grant process?  Contact

The State of Colorado Advanced Industries Proof of Concept (AI-POC) Grant Program is part of the LAUNCHPAD FUEL Grant.  More information on the AI POC requirements may be found below.  

Learn More About the FUEL Program

What is the FUEL Program: The Two Essential Components

The FUEL Grant (R&D Seed Funding):

  • The cornerstone of the program provides FUEL participants proof of concept grants of up to $200K for up to 2 years of support.   Most of the funds for this grant are provided by the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade’s (OEDIT) Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) Proof of Concept (POC) program. The state of Colorado program requires a 1:3 matching requirement for access to State funds (for every 1 dollar provided by the applicant, 3 dollars will be provided by OEDIT).
    • Applications that have identified their own sources of funding for a match will receive priority status in the review process.
    • The technology transfer unit may elect to provide matching funds for applications with no identified match.
  • FUEL grants are intended to support commercially focused innovations requiring additional R&D critical for product validation and proof of concept.


Commercialization Workshops:

  • The second component of the FUEL program is the commercialization workshops and seminar programs provided to each FUEL cohort.  Teams in the FUEL cohort will participate in workshops for customer discovery, such as the Research to Market Program, designed to increase their potential for success.
    • RESEARCH TO MARKET (R2M) Workshop– R2M is intended to ensure product-market fit for each funded team. R2M leverages proven methods to clarify customer problems in specific markets and helps teams optimize R&D strategies to enter those markets.  This program includes workshops, intensive classroom instruction, as well as $3K travel grants available for customer discovery.
    • Additional commercialization workshops may be included throughout the funding cycle to enhance commercialization efforts and success.
Who is Eligible to Apply for the FUEL Grant

Any Colorado State University non-temporary, salaried, state classified or general faculty employee is eligible as the primary investigator applying for the grant.

Graduate research assistants and post-doctoral researchers are ineligible as the primary investigator as these are are considered temporary, non-faculty appointments.  Faculty affiliates are ineligible as the primary investigator as these are considered non-salaried appointments.  NOTE:  Individuals with these types of appointments (e.g. temporary, non-salaried, and/or retired) may be listed as a co-investigator as long as the following requirements are met:

    1. A non-temporary, salaried employee is serving as the principal investigator.
    2. Co-investigators with any of the aforementioned appointments MUST be approved by the department and college prior to submitting the full application.
FUEL Grant Application Process

What is the general application process?

    1. Preliminary Proposal
      1. A Preliminary Proposal is required to begin the process.
      2. Preliminary Proposals are due by 5:00 pm, August 30th, 2021.
    2. The preliminary proposal and the full application processes will use the CSU InfoReady Review system.
      1. To begin the process, you will set up your account within InfoReady Review and select the opportunity for the FUEL grant Preliminary Proposal.
      2. Use your CSU eID and password to log into InfoReady Review
      3. The FY22 Preliminary Proposal can be directly accessed HERE.

The technology transfer unit will review the Preliminary Proposals and will select applicants to move forward in the process.


Full applications are by INVITATION ONLY.

    1. Applicants who are invited to submit full applications will be notified via the InfoReady system and will be asked to complete the application using that system.
    2. Full Applications are due by 5:00 pm, October 11, 2021.
    3. Full Applications require budget review and approval by the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), via the KRPD system.


Who do I contact with questions about the grant process?  All questions regarding the pre-application proposal and contents should be directed to Sarah Belford via email,

FUEL Program Timeline - FY22 Cohort

Anticipated Activities for Grant Applicants & Awardees:

Date Who is Required to Participate Activity
8/30/2021 All potential applicants Preliminary Proposals Due by 5 pm MDT
9/13/2021 All potential applicants Notice of Request to Submit Full application
10/1/2021 Final Applicants Proposed budget(s) to OSP by 4 pm MDT.
10/11/2021 Final Applicants FUEL Grant Application(s) (with approved budget(s)from OSP) Due by 5 pm MDT
10/12/2021-10/25/2021 Final Applicants FUEL Grant Pitches – will be scheduled by CSU Ventures
11/4/2021 Potential Awardees Notification of Award
11/24/2021 Potential Awardees State Applications completed for review by the State (coordinated by CSU Ventures; this date is in anticipation of review of grants by the State at the December meeting)
November 2021-March 2022 Potential Awardees Expected attendance at selected commercialization workshops to include team participation in the R2M program.  Dates TBD
01/15/2022 Potential Awardees Matching funds deposited in grant account with OSP (matching funds must be present for state funds to be released).
February/March 2022 Awards Issued by OEDIT Estimated date range when state funds become available through OSP, contingent upon CSU/State  contracting and accounting processes.


State of Colorado Advanced Industries Grant Program Information Links
About the State of Colorado's Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Program

The AI program was created in 2013 by the Colorado Legislature to promote the success of seven designated industries in the State of Colorado.  These industries include: Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, Bioscience, Electronics, Energy and Natural Resources, Infrastructure Engineering, and Technology and Information.  A portion of these funds are made available for proof of concept (POC) research occurring at Colorado research institutions and are allocated through the technology transfer offices. For FY2021, CSU Ventures has been allocated over $600,000 to award to POC projects at Colorado State University.

The AI POC grant funding is intended to identify and pull technologies developed at research institutions and connect them to the private sector where they can be developed into products.

Learn more about the State of Colorado Advanced Industries Programs