Colorado launches innovation network

Colorado has launched the Colorado Innovation Network, a new initiative designed to promote collaboration among Colorado’s public, private and academic institutions. The Network hopes to support economic development and job growth by attracting new businesses to the state. Governor Hickenlooper launched the network yesterday, noting that he wants to make Colorado the best state in the nation for business.

The Network’s objectives include identifying and supporting key industry clusters statewide. Once these clusters are realized, they will work with business leaders to foster innovation, create and retain jobs. The Network will also offer job training programs to grow a workforce that is prepared to work in these new fields.

State officials also noted that the Network will be tasked with providing performance metrics that track its overall impact throughout Colorado.

Ajay Menon the state’s first Chief Innovation Officer, is leading COIN and will volunteer 20 hours a week for the state in addition to his full-time job as Dean of the College of Business at Colorado State University. COIN will initially be housed within the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Funding for COIN will come from private donors; no state money will be used.

“The Colorado Innovation Network is a roadmap for making Colorado the best state for innovation and where every road must lead to new jobs,” Hickenlooper said. “We’ll work statewide with industry leaders to build a business environment which promotes innovative practices, creates jobs and grows our economy.”