Colorado State University Clinches Three Key National Science and Technology Research Centers

Colorado State University was awarded $56 million in federal grants yesterday and today from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation to establish two research centers at the university and partner on a third in Massachusetts. The centers showcase Colorado State as a world-class research institution in the areas of infectious disease, biotechnology, engineering and weather.

Tuesday, Colorado State University was awarded $22.1 million by the National Institutes of Health to build a biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research center. Colorado State earned the recognition because of its proven world-class expertise in biosecurity and infectious disease research and the university’s ongoing collaboration with federal partners in this vital research area.

The grant will fund a 33,850-square-foot Regional Biocontainment Laboratory for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, expanding upon research already underway at the university’s Bioenvironmental Hazards Research Building and the Federal Centers for Disease Control at the university’s Foothills Research Campus.

In another announcement on Wednesday, the National Science Foundation granted Colorado State $17 million to establish one of four national Engineering Research Centers. The center will study extreme ultraviolet science and laser technology that can create atom-sized computer circuitry, technology that promises economic gains for industry in the region and nation. Colorado State leads the project in collaboration with the University of Colorado and the University of California-Berkeley.

In addition, the National Science Foundation announced today that Colorado State will team with the University of Massachusetts in another Engineering Research Center. The NSF granted $17 million to the lead institution, the University of Massachusetts, in partnership with Colorado State, University of Oklahoma and University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez along with industry including IBM, The Weather Channel and Raytheon. The new $17 million grant will fund a center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere, enabling earlier and more accurate weather emergency forecasts. The center will significantly increase warning time for tornadoes, flash floods and other sever weather disturbances with far greater accuracy than existing technology.

The NSF established four Engineering Research Centers nationwide this week.

Over the past decade, Colorado State has received about $100 million in federal support for infectious disease research, and is widely recognized as a leader in the study of tuberculosis and arthropod-borne infectious disease, including dengue fever, West Nile virus, malaria and similar infectious threats.

"Clearly, this is a week in which Colorado State University’s research star has shone brightly," said Larry Penley, president of Colorado State. "Through this series of announcements and the support demonstrated, it is clear that Colorado State is uniquely positioned nationally to address important societal issues and that we have the faculty, facilities and the resources to do so well."

The establishment of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research coupled with the NSF Engineering Research Center led by Colorado State as well as the additional NSF endeavor with the University of Massachusetts, establishes Colorado State as a national anchor in influential scientific research which will boost the Western and national economy.

Each year, Colorado State generates more than $1.3 billion of revenue for the state, according to results from the school’s economic impact report. Colorado State is in the top 8 percent of schools nationwide for average return on state investment.

Colorado State research activity, including competitively awarded research grants, external contracts and federal funding, is responsible for nearly $259 million in economic activity within the state. Over the past 10 years, the university has attracted more than $1.3 billion in externally funded research, including more than $860 million in federal research dollars.

"Society invests a great deal in our research universities, and these awards and the benefits they’ll bring to society represent a remarkable return on that investment for generations to come," said Anthony Frank, vice president for research and information technology at Colorado State.

Colorado State recently ranked among the nation’s top 5 percent of public and private institutions of higher education receiving federal research and development financial support in engineering and the sciences, according to the National Science Foundation. Colorado State ranked second in the nation in federal research and development support when compared with other public research universities without medical schools.

Colorado State received about $140 million in total federal research grants during fiscal year 2002-2003. The five federal agencies that awarded the university the largest total amount of grants last year include Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and Department of Commerce.

The total amount of all grants, including non-federal grants, received by the university during fiscal year 2002-2003 was about $200 million.