Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships

The ability to use scientific discoveries to drive technological solutions to our most pressing global problems will require the integration of multiple disciplines and the formation of innovative partnerships across sectors.  The Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships (CIP) program, brings together collaborative researchers from across Colorado State University to work together on our most pressing global problems.   Every two years a group of research teams will be seeded with $200,000 over two years and provided infrastructural support to seek partners and resources. These relationships will nurture the creation and delivery of solutions in energy, health, and the environment. The next round of applications will be accepted in 2019. 

2017 CIP Teams


Enriched Environments for the Healthy, Aging BrainThis team will provide one of the only large-scale, transdisciplinary assessments of non-pharmacological intervention in the U.S. for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

Rural Wealth Creation: Exploring food systems-led development strategies: The project seeks to understand how food system strategies can contribute to social, cultural, human, political, physical, natural, and financial capital in rural communities. 

Securing Life Science Infrastructures: This team will examine the adoption of security policies that protect life-science infrastructures from exposure to biological agents that can compromise human health, food supplies, or natural resources. 

TagTeam: New Molecular Tags for In Vivo Imaging and Editing: To better facilitate future basic and applied research that depends on the imaging or editing of specific molecules inside living cells; this team will produce new reliable molecular tools to “click” biomolecules together. 

TerraForma: Simulating Reality in Artificial Ecosystems: To understand diseases better, this team will look at creating artificial ecosystems or “worlds-in-a-bottle” to evaluate and control the role of environmental changes in the transmission of animal and plant pathogens. 

2015 CIP Teams

Coalition for Development and Implementation of Sensor Systems: The mission of this team is to unite researchers focused on designing and developing integrated chemical and biological sensors and sensor networks that address critical needs in prevention, monitoring, and treatment applications including infectious diseases, cancer, water, food safety and energy. 

Developing Advanced Polymeric Materials for Grand Challenges: This group will develop and exploit new synergies to solve two grand challenges associated with modern polymers and plastics:   development of renewable/ sustainable feed stocks for polymers and designing biocompatible polymers for use in applications such as tissue engineering, vascular grafts and implantable medical devices. 

Fort Collins Urban Resiliency: EcoDistricts and Triple-Helix Community Development: As the earth’s population becomes increasingly urban, cities are facing complex economic, social, and environmental challenges that are best met through the collaborative effort of municipalities, private business, and researchers – the triple-helix approach proposed by this team. 

Institute for Genome Architecture and Function: Establishing an institute for Genome Architecture and Function will allow this team of researchers to explore the organization of genetic material in the cell which affects the development and progression of a wide range of diseases including cancer. 

Innovation Center for Sustainable Agriculture: Through this initiative, the team will advance innovations to feed more people with reduced environmental impacts globally by harnessing the power of soil microbial communities and plant-soil-microbe interactions. 

Partnership for Air Quality, Climate, Health: This team will implement a structure and support facility to comprehensively integrate CSU-wide capabilities in air quality, climate, and health, while focusing on communicating scientific findings to stakeholders in innovative ways so as to inform and direct individuals as well as climate policy. 

Smart Village MicrogridThe overall goal of this initiative is to establish a trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural team to design, test, and validate energy-based solutions for rural African villages utilizing microgrid technology built on clean energy and hopes to use this effort as a catalyst for comprehensive rural development. 

CIP Mission Statement:

The mission of the Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships program is to facilitate and position Colorado State University, through the creation and support of interdisciplinary research teams tackling grand societal and scientific challenges, to achieve significant global impact, in accordance with our land grant heritage.

CIP Objectives:

The objectives of the CIP program are the creation and support of teams who achieve impact through successfully translate knowledge and research into tangible products outside the walls of the University; transforming academic research into action, by informing and impacting policy and decision makers; growing the initial seed investment into significant research funding proposals, at the $10M order of magnitude; establishing a path for future research team sustainability and continued impact, beyond the 2-year Catalyst program scope of support