Innovate Fort Collins Challenge funding available

The City of Fort Collins is now accepting applications for innovative projects that help achieve the community’s aspirational Climate Action Plan goals.

The Innovate Fort Collins Challenge will provide $5,000 to $250,000 in funds for projects capable of achieving greenhouse gas reductions through a variety of approaches. The competition allows participating businesses and organizations to explore new ideas or technologies, leverage funding and showcase their projects to a broader audience.

Successful applications will focus on one or more of the following key areas and demonstrate their impact on residents or businesses:

  • Efficiency and renewable energy use;
  • Increased use of alternative transportation options; and/or
  • Greater reduction, reuse and recycling of waste materials.

Innovation partners

Innovation and collaboration are key to the foundation of the relationship between Colorado State University and the City of Fort Collins. This partnership resulted in CSU gaining the designation last year as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University (IEP) from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The designation recognizes public research universities working with public and private-sector partners to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.

CSU’s achievements across talent development, research and innovation, and community stewardship are integral elements of economic prosperity. The university’s exceptional commitment to sustainability, woven across the fabric of the institution and embedded in the Fort Collins community, is one of the best examples of where these principles intersect.

‘Place of Invention’

CSU and Fort Collins are widely recognized as places of innovation, perhaps most notably by the “Place of Invention” exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibit places the region’s contemporary work in clean energy development alongside five historical case studies of American invention and innovation.

The IEP designation also resulted in CSU capturing the top award in the “Place” category from APLU last November. The “Place” award recognizes CSU for excelling in community, social and cultural development work, which reflects a growing wave of innovation that has swept across the university and throughout the Fort Collins community.

Application details

Applicants for the Innovate Fort Collins Challenge must submit a letter of intent no later than April 28. For other deadlines and application materials, go to

The city has set aspirational goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2030 with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.