OVPR invests in collaboration

Seven teams of researchers from across Colorado State University will be working together on some of our most pressing global problems, thanks to innovative investments from the Office of the Vice President of Research.

“The ability to use scientific discoveries to drive technological solutions to our most pressing global problems will require the integration of multiple disciplines and the formation of innovative partnerships across sectors,” said Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research.

In the fall of this year, the OVPR at CSU has launched a new program entitled Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships (CIP). The new program seeks to build innovative multidisciplinary teams that will forge partnerships designed to optimally pursue new opportunities for translating discoveries into practice.

Teams will be seeded with a critical mass of funding up to $200,000 for two years and provided infrastructural support to seek partners and resources to create and deliver novel solutions for some of our most important problems. These relationships will nurture the creation and delivery of solutions in energy, health, and the environment.

“We are excited about this new program and the tremendous response we have received across campus,” said Rudolph. “The Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships investments were created to encourage research teams to collaborate with new partners and find innovative ways to solve complicated, global problems in line with our rich land-grant heritage.”


Team Members

Developing Advanced Polymeric Materials for Grand Challenges

Sue James, Ellen Fisher and Matt Kipper, Eugene Chen, David Dandy, Arun Kota, Melissa Reynolds, Chris Snow, Travis Bailey, Ketul Popat, Christie Peebles, Tom Chen, Christian Puttlitz, Vivian Li, Jeni Cross, Stu Tobet


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.


Rural Village Microgrid

Daniel Zimmerle, Amy Young, Meghan Suter, Eric Aoki, Kathleen Galvin, Peter Means, Paul Hudnut, Dale Manning, Keith Paustian and Doo-ho Park


The 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.


CLA, COB, CAS, CHHS, COE, Energy Institute
Innovation Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Matthew Wallenstein, Richard Conant, Gregory Graff, Courtney Jahn, Andrew Jones, Ken Reardon, Meagan Schipanski


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, and Health

A. R. Ravishankara, Sonia Kreidenweis, Jennifer Peel, John Volckens, Marilee Long


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.


Fort Collins Urban Resiliency: EcoDistricts and Triple-Helix Community Development

Jeni Cross, Brian Dunbar, and Choi


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

Karolin Luger, Jennifer DeLuca, Randy Bartels, Ashok Prasad, Travis Bailey, Cristiana Argueso


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.


Coalition for Development and Implementation of Sensor Systems

David Dandy, Tom Chen, Chuck Henry, Anura Jayasumana, Rick Lyons, Jennifer Mueller, Sangmi Pallickara, Lori Peek, Ken Reardon, Melissa Reynolds, John Volckens

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.