Colorado State Sets Record for Annual Research Expenditures

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Colorado State University’s pioneering work in renewable energy and its excellence in infectious disease and biomedical research helped push research expenditures close to $300 million in fiscal year 2007 – among the highest levels of federal funding for universities nationwide. Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State, made the announcement today during his annual Fall Address to campus and the community.

Annual research expenditures totaled a record high of $296 million in fiscal year 2007, which was 11 percent and $29 million more than the previous year, and an increase of 49 percent over the past five years, according to new figures released today by Colorado State’s Office of the Vice President for Research.

"This is a strong testament to the confidence government agencies and private-sector sponsors have in our faculty, staff and students," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State, who has overseen the significant growth in research expenditures since he joined the university in August 2003. "Colorado State conducts vital research that is addressing global issues, including viable alternative energy sources, cures for cancer and vaccines for malaria and drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis."

By comparison, Colorado State’s average rate of increase based on the last three years of reported data has surpassed that at Texas A&M, Purdue, North Carolina State University, University of California-Davis, and all the campuses of the CU system.

As in 2006, federal expenditures in 2007 comprised the majority (73 percent) of the sponsored expenditures, totaling $217.1 million. State, foundation, commercial and other non-federal expenditures made up $35.8 million or 12.1 percent of the total, with institutional support funds adding another $43.1 million or 15 percent.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was the largest source of external funding at Colorado State for the seventh consecutive year, largely because of the university’s focus on infectious disease and biomedical research initiatives.

In February, Colorado State University unveiled MicroRx, a first-of-its-kind enterprise to speed the transition of life-saving research on infectious diseases from the academic world into the global marketplace. MicroRx was announced as the first of the university’s "Superclusters" – alliances of academic researchers, economists and business experts designed to encourage collaboration and bridge the vastly different worlds of business and academia. In August, the university announced its second business Supercluster called NeoTrex, dedicated to more quickly transferring life-saving cancer research from the academic world into commercialization.  And just this week, the university announced that AVA Inc. will begin mass producing solar panels, allowing homeowners to power homes with renewable solar power for far less investment than early-generation panels.

"Colorado State has a strong history of conducting research that makes a difference in people’s lives," said Bill Farland, vice president for Research at the university and formerly top ranking scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "With the Supercluster model, we are taking the entrepreneurial guesswork out of the equation. Scientists can focus on innovating, while other experts move the product to market, allowing groundbreaking research to help resolve real-world concerns more quickly."

The university also experienced significant funding increases in 2007 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation. Annual research expenditures from other non-federal sources and industrials also grew.

Average award dollars received by traditionally appointed faculty within Colorado State’s eight colleges have grown 20 percent since 2004. Faculty submitted a record 1,797 proposals for external competitive funding in 2007 – up eight percent over 2006 and 91 percent over the past five years.

Colorado State University Research Expenditures Over the Past 5 Years

Year     Total R&D Expenditures (Percent increase over previous year in parentheses)

2003     $187,054,000     (4.6)

2004     $214,886,000     (14.9)

2005     $236,211,000     (9.9)

2006     $267,400,000     (8.9)

2007     $296,000,000     (11)