NASA to Boost Business Development in Colorado

Lori Garver, NASA Deputy Administrator, and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr., participated in a Space Act Agreement signing ceremony at the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver to promote Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology’s (CAMT) Acceleration Program and Regional Innovation Cluster for Aerospace and Clean Energy.

The Technology Acceleration Program and Regional Innovation Cluster for Aerospace and Clean Energy is a manufacturing park focused on rapid new product development. Production will be developed to assist growing Colorado businesses.

“This park will use Colorado’s existing competitive strengths to boost economic growth while creating new jobs and products for aerospace and energy industries,” Garver said. “NASA is pleased to collaborate on new technology developments like the one being created through the Colorado Technology Acceleration Program and Regional Innovation Cluster.”

The NASA-CAMT partnership will allow small and mid-sized business to have direct access to a NASA “innovation ambassador,” an agency expert who can identify NASA and partner technologies that can be commercialized. The ambassador will conduct forums to develop partnerships among NASA and Colorado businesses in order to identify businesses that can benefit from NASA’s technical assistance.

As is the case for efforts to become competitive, innovation is necessary to expand the US economy and ensure competitiveness in a global economy.

“The new agreement with NASA is a perfect fit for Colorado because it will enhance our leading aerospace industry and growing high-tech business and research sectors,” Ritter said. “Most importantly, this will bring high-tech jobs to our state. Colorado is a hub for innovation and continues to attract the best and the brightest workers. Congratulations to CAMT and NASA for making this historic agreement.”

The Technology Acceleration Program will allow companies to work with NASA and expedite product development from an average of five years to as little as 18 months. This will help new products get market access more quickly and new high tech jobs will be created.

“Aerospace and energy are the fastest growing industries in Colorado, sharing the same supply base and similar workforce needs,” said Elaine Thorndike, chief executive officer of CAMT. “Through regional innovation clusters, public and private sectors can work together to increase business opportunities, technical assistance programs and market penetration for aerospace and clean energy manufacturing strength.”

Through the agreement, NASA joins the state of Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and CAMT in a pathfinder collaboration to promote innovation and global competitiveness in the new energy economy.

CAMT is a statewide manufacturing assistance center dedicated to increasing the competitiveness of Colorado manufacturers. The association is the state affiliate of the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce.