Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships

The Office of the Vice President of Research launched the Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships (CIP) program in 2015 and has now chosen its third cohort in 2020. Five interdisciplinary teams of researchers from across the University have been chosen as the third cohort for the CIP program.  These teams will grow interdisciplinary partnerships to pursue new opportunities to forge solutions for some of the world’s most pressing problems. 

Over $23 million was awarded to the first two cohorts with significant scholarly outputs including 168 publications. The third cohort of teams will receive seed funding of up to $200,000 each. They will be provided infrastructural support by the University to nurture the creation and delivery of solutions in aging, infectious disease, climate change, and veterinary training. 

2020 CIP Teams:

Accelerating Translational Aging Research at CSU: Developing an Innovative Comparative Pipeline
This team will establish dogs as key models for age-related human cognitive decline. They will work with cell-based models as well as companion animals, and people to study human aging and diseases. This team is led by Karyn Hamilton, Professor of Health and Exercise Science and Director of the Translational Research on Aging and Chronic Disease Laboratory.

The Soil Carbon Solutions Center: Enhancing livelihoods and mitigating climate change through cutting-edge research, tools, and implementation
The Soil Carbon Solutions Center will develop soil-based solutions as a critical CO2 greenhouse gas removal technology, and a means to improve sustainable food, fiber and bioenergy production, and environmental health. This team is led by Keith Paustian, University Distinguished Professor in Soil and Crop Sciences and Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory.

Center for Metabolism of Infectious Diseases (C4MInD) Accelerator
C4MInD represents the first academic center that targets the connection between metabolism and infectious disease. The mission of C4MInD is to enable the development of new treatments, preventions, and diagnostics for infectious diseases by resolving host-vector-pathogen-environment interactions at a metabolic level. This team is led by John Belisle, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology and Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research.

Virtual Reality for Veterinary Training
The Virtual Reality for Veterinary Training team will develop a virtual reality training program that will provide the current need for remote, hands-on veterinary training tools to educate animal care professionals. Students, veterinarians, nurses, and technicians will use this virtual reality training program to develop their skills in veterinary medicine. This team is led by Pedro Boscan, Professor of Clinical Sciences and Anesthesiologist at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

The Climate Adaptation Partnership (CAP) for Policy Innovation and Research Coordination
The CAP team will coordinate research and policy outreach to address the grand societal challenge of how social and ecological systems can successfully adapt in the face of climate change. CAP will pursue unique fundraising and research opportunities and train researchers in federal and state policy outreach to increase their impact and fundraising success. This team is led by Courtney Schultz, Associate Professor of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship and Director of the Public Lands Policy Group.

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.

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

Past CIP Cohorts:

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. 

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.