(Jan. 17) – The centerpiece of the House Democrats’ jobs and economic development package took its first step forward in the legislature today when HB13-1001, the Advanced Industries Accelerator Act, was approved by the House Business, Labor & Economic & Workforce Development Committee on an 8-3 vote.
The bill, with the bipartisan cosponsorship of Reps. Dave Young (D-Greeley) and Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen), would promote commercialization of new technologies and growth among Colorado’s small high-tech startups through strategic grants. Colorado-based advanced-industry concerns would be eligible for proof-of-concept grants, capped at $150,000; early stage capital and retention grants, capped at $250,000, and infrastructure grants, capped at $500,000.
“Already, Colorado’s research institutions and federal labs bring in close to $2 billion a year in advanced technology research fund,” the bill sponsor, Rep. Young told the committee. “This legislation will help us leverage even more dollars, as well as accelerate the commercialization process, which will lead to more products, companies and jobs.”
Testifying for the bill were Ken Lund, director of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and representatives of the industries targeted by the bill: advanced manufacturing; aerospace; bioscience; electronics; energy and natural resources; infrastructure engineering; and information technology.
Voting against the bill were Reps. Chris Holbert (R-Parker), Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) and Libby Szabo (R-Arvada).