Catalyst Campus gets grant for high-tech lab


 The Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation, which seeks to advance technology in Southern Colorado and create jobs, was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Colorado Economic Development Commission to build out IT infrastructure and create a research and development lab and operations center. Partners plan to provide $1.5 million in matching funds for the projects.

The new center will produce satellite, space and GPS technologies for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and commercial purposes. Construction will begin in summer. 

Read on for more details:

Catalyst Campus lands $750,000 grant to build
private research, shared ‘collaboratory’ R & D lab

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Dec. 14, 2015 – The Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Colorado Economic Development Commission, to build out IT infrastructure and a unique industry-sponsored, cyber- and space-based research and development laboratory/operations center.

Partners of Catalyst Campus will provide $1.5 million in matching funds to establish the Cyber and Space Operations Center (CSOC), where satellite, space and GPS technologies will be tested and developed for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and ultimately for commercial applications.

With financial support from Catalyst Campus partners, Braxton Science and Technologies Group, LLC, and The O’Neil Group Company, LLC, the CSOC will provide a technology platform for industry partners to collaborate and deploy two SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contracts recently awarded to Braxton by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

“Catalyst is grateful to Braxton and The O’Neil Group for supporting the launch of an R&D ‘collaboratory’ at the campus,” said Ingrid Richter, Economic Development Director for Catalyst Campus.

Construction on the CSOC will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by September 2016. After these initial AFRL contracts are deployed in 2016, the laboratory will be made available to other private companies, providing a co-working and co-utilization platform that allows start-ups, entrepreneurs, established companies and R&D projects to use the CSOC laboratory without initial start-up or exorbitant operating costs.

This unique operating model will make the Cyber and Space Operations Center the only space and satellite private research laboratory of its kind in the nation.

“We are honored that Catalyst Campus was chosen to receive this Advanced Industries Accelerator grant,” said Kevin O’Neil, CEO of The O’Neil Group Company. “This grant will support building an environment around cyber, satellite and space operations that is unheard of in the private aerospace industry. The opportunity for commercial application and workforce training in this environment is exponential.”

“The CSOC will create a synergistic opportunity to educate civilians, cadets, veterans and active military personnel in the practical application of cyber security, satellite research and operations, and software development.”

Once the infrastructure is in place and these projects are deployed, Catalyst Campus and industry partners plan to engage commercial companies in R&D, technology acceleration, and satellite testing capabilities.

Building the CSOC opens the door to innovations such as improving signal accuracy technology that can be used to enhance military operations and also be cross-pollinated to commercial markets to increase accuracy for Google mapping applications, Garmin devices, and GPS applications – all part of a multi-billion-dollar industry.

“I congratulate the Catalyst Campus for receiving this significant grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. This funding will be used to create a Cyber and Space Operations Center on the campus, and it is further evidence that Colorado Springs is rapidly becoming a national leader in cyber security.”

-John Suthers
Mayor of Colorado Springs

According to the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, the Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs grants are awarded to companies that “promote growth and sustainability in Colorado's seven advanced industries by helping drive innovation, accelerate commercialization, encourage public-private partnerships, increase access to early stage capital and create a strong ecosystem that increases the state’s global competitiveness.”

Catalyst Campus applied for the grant in September 2015 and received the award on Dec. 10 at the Colorado Economic Development Commission hearing, where several companies in Colorado received grants, ranging from $300,000 to $2.5 million.

Located in downtown Colorado Springs, Catalyst Campus advances technology in Southern Colorado. Catalyst Campus creates a centralized ecosystem to promote industry, education, and venture capital for these advanced industries: aerospace, defense and homeland security, electronics, technology and information, and advanced manufacturing.

Given the diverse resources of Southern Colorado, the Catalyst Campus aims to accelerate economic growth across multiple advanced industries and support workforce development for the Pikes Peak region.

Catalyst Campus offers 100,000 square feet of office/R&D lab space where start-ups as well as small- and medium-sized companies collaborate on innovative and emerging ideas to promote technological advancement, create high-skilled, high-paying jobs, and stimulate the commercialization of new products.

In addition, Catalyst Academy will be a training center that will fill workforce gaps in today's changing and high-demand technologies.

For more information, visit or call 719-244-0507.

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