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City Awards $265,000 in Innovate Fort Collins Challenge Grants

Released on Friday, August 18, 2017
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    Finalists at the August 3 Innovate Fort Collins Challenge Public Pitch Night.

The City of Fort Collins has awarded five Innovate Fort Collins Challenge grants worth about $265,000 to help the community reduce its carbon footprint by 2020 and beyond.

Based on the scores from the August 3 public pitch night and overall judging, the winners of the competition:

  • Spring Back Colorado ($75,000) for scaling its Fort Collins business where it provides redemptive employment opportunities through recycling of bed mattresses and box springs.

  • Front Range Community College ($65,212) for a learning project that uses a solar photovoltaic panel and electric vehicle charging station at the Harmony Library.

  • Colorado State University ($44,550) for development and implementation of an online transportation and safety education module for incoming freshmen.

  • Insecticycle LLC ($40,000) for a pilot-scale facility to demonstrate a cradle-to-cradle food waste diversion process using black solider fly larvae.

  • Poudre School District ($40,000) for testing food composting technology in middle schools.

Applicants in the Innovate Fort Collins Challenge were asked to show how they would achieve carbon reductions in energy, transportation and waste materials through new ideas or technology, leveraging financial awards or showcasing projects to a broader audience.

The Challenge began in April 2017 with the City eventually receiving more than 58 proposals totaling $5.5 million. The list was narrowed to a small group of finalists who pitched their proposals publically on August 3. Nine judges from the City’s Boards and Commissions and the CAP Community Advisory Committee evaluated the pitches, which were worth 15 percent of the total score. A video of the August 3 public event is available at www.fcgov.com/innovate.

A total of $264,762 was awarded in this first round of the challenge with a second round scheduled in 2018. This first round also leveraged $60,000 of re-appropriated money from the Advanced Waste Stream Optimization Offer, which allowed additional waste diversion and recycling projects to be funded.

The City has set aspirational goals to cut carbon emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2030 with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. The City aims to achieve those goals through a variety of strategies identified in its Climate Action Plan in such areas as energy, transportation and waste reduction.