NASA partners with Colorado in tech initiative

Tech park could employ 10,000

A federal-state partnership in Colorado will leverage space technology from NASA to spur economic growth in the region by creating up to 10,000 new jobs over the next five years, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced Monday.

The partnership, part of the Technology Acceleration Program, consists of setting up a new manufacturing-technology park in a metro area near research organizations such as the Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., the Denver Post reports.  The first phase of the proposed 200-acre campus will feature 50,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space with a price tag of $5 million to $6 million. A developer has signed a letter of intent to spend $40 million on the initial phases of the project, according to the Post.

The collaboration between NASA, the Energy and Commerce Departments, and the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology is designed to “create a regional economic innovation cluster focused on aerospace and energy technologies,” according to the White House Blog.

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The growth of manufacturing, paired with innovation, will help the nation emerge from economic downturn, Ritter told the Post.

“Our ability to innovate and create and then take the technology and commercialize those and really use those as part of the core of our manufacturing – that is something that can make a tremendous difference for us as a country,” Ritter said.

The White House blog says that the park will host new businesses interested in using NASA technologies to develop new commercial products and services. The technologies ready for commercialization will be paired with Colorado businesses for production and rollout. Small and midsize businesses will have access to an “innovation ambassador” or agency expert who can pinpoint NASA and partner innovations ready for commercialization, according to SpaceRef.

The Longmont Times-Call has learned that six sites are being considered for the park, with Boulder on the south end, Loveland on the north and Longmont in the middle.

About 10 percent of space would be committed to testing labs and the other 90 percent to manufacturing, Don Marostica, executive director of the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade told the Times-Call. 

About the Author

Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.


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