Connect & Collaborate takes an in-depth look at the impact the University of Colorado system has on the state economy and our future as a whole. We are fortunate to have CU not only for the education of our students, but because the school is a a leader in research, enterprise and innovation. Those qualities combine to drive the state economy by creating new companies and jobs, while attracting industry leaders to the state. Together with our Co-host, John Brackney, we talk with Don Elliman, Chancellor of CU Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus, on the ability to commercialize CU research to build industry partnerships; Steve VanNurden, President and CEO of Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority on the impact of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus on healthcare and the economy; Diane Dimeff, the Executive Director of CU- Boulder's Espace Initiative on the role of aerospace, student recruitment and research, workforce development and industry partnerships.
The University of Colorado has become an economic driver, with millions of dollars in research funding, impacting job growth which ultimately impacts the local economy.
"The CU system does almost $800 million in sponsored research, right now, today. Roughly fifty-percent of that is in Boulder. There is some in the Springs <sic>. There is some in downtown Denver. But Boulder and Anschutz are at about the same level the high $300 million each." ~ Don Elliman
The CU Anschutz Medical campus is a hub of world class research, employing 22,000 people in three different hospitals and research facilities, with a unique ability to combine education, research and commercial businesses all in one place.
CU leads the way for innovation in the aerospace field as well. At CU-Boulder, Diane Dimeff heads the Espace initiative including the Center for Space Entrepreneurship which is the hub for a number of workforce development, and business incubator aerospace-related programs. Among them, the CU-led MAVEN mission which studies the atmosphere and volatile evolution of Mars - and brought in $671 million in research dollars.
"Through this mission, the state of Colorado received $300 million in funding. With that, of course, an enormous number of new jobs that have been created and if you add those new jobs and the salaries they created, and then the sort of multiplier effect of them going ahead and buying products and services within the state of Colorado, the total economic impact of this MAVEN project alone, much less the University's is something like two billion dollars." ~ Diane Dimeff
When we look at the leading players in economic development, we can't overlook the CU system. CU contributes to the state's future in more ways than we see on the surface.
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John Brackney is the Director of Strategic Community and Governmental Engagement at Webolutions, The Strategic Marketing Agency. He has a combined 26 years of Public Policy and Community Problem Solving experience as the former CEO of the South Metro Denver Chamber, as a former Arapahoe County Commissioner and as a former Army National Guard Officer. John received his law degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law and a B.A. Political Science from the University of Northern Colorado. John and his wife are lifelong residents and natives of Colorado, are approaching their 25th wedding anniversary, and have two daughters.