Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced the first round of grants totaling $2,908,883 under the newly established Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Grant Program.
This program offers four types of grants for AI startups and existing companies. The grants may be provided for proof of concept, early-stage capital and retention, infrastructure funding and for exports.
The first round of funding awarded under this program includes $385,000 for three proof of concept grants.
One of them is for National Jewish Health in Denver, which is getting $85,000 for KneeTap, a tool developed by researchers which facilitates injection or extraction of fluid from joint space. They plan to develop additional tools for various joints. There are more than five million joint tap procedures performed annually, costing more than a billion dollars.
The other two proof of concept grants of $150,000 each were awarded to the Colorado School of Mines.
The State also awarded another eight early stage and retention grants. The biggest grants of $500,000 each under this category were awarded to Loveland, CO-based Lightning Hybrids and Golden, CO-based Steelhead Composites.
Lightning Hybrids, which came in second at the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) Glorious Failure Innovation Challenge earlier this year, produces a hydraulic drive system that simply needs to be bolted on to a vehicle’s drivetrain to convert it into a hybrid that provides fuel efficiency savings and reduces emissions.
Vehicles fleets that install the Lightning Hybrids system benefit from an immediate 40 percent improvement in fuel economy, with a full return on investment for fleets within one to three years.
Steelhead Composites has an advanced manufacturing facility in Golden that does metal forming, filament winding and high-pressure vessel design work for the automotive industry. They plan to use the grant to expand their product offerings to include light-weight vessels for alternative fuels.
The remaining six grant recipients in this category are as follows:-
dbMEDx – $249,000; Membrane Protective Technologies Inc. – $125,000; Solid Power LLC. – $250,000; Prieto Battery Inc. – $150,000; Sundolier Inc. – $499,883; and VetDC Inc. – $250,000
Gov. Hickenlooper said in a statement that the growth in advanced industries in Colorado is adding jobs and having a statewide impact on the economy, and these grant announcements demonstrate the state’s continued support for innovation and growth in these sectors.