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一名男子站在麦田里用技术监测气候变化

NSF资助专注于创业, Workforce Resilience and Development along 科罗拉多的前山脉

的 ecosystem for entrepreneurs and innovators in 的 fields of emerging technologies in Colorado’s 前山 just received a major investment in 的 form of a new stream of federal funding and 的 collective brainpower of researchers from four universities.

的 ecosystem for entrepreneurs and innovators in 的 fields of emerging technologies along Colorado’s 前山 just received a major investment in 的 form of a new stream of federal funding and 的 collective brainpower of researchers from four universities.  

的 北科罗拉多大学 was one of 50 institutions recently awarded a 三年,400000美元 加强伙伴关系以提高创新能力(EPIIC)赠款 来自国家科学基金会. 史诗拨款,将由 的 蒙福特商学院, is designed to encourage minority-serving institutions, two-year institutions, primarily undergraduate institutions and o的r emerging research institutions to participate 建立和加强区域创新生态系统.  

“This project has significant potential to benefit 的 residents in 的 前山 region, many who come from underrepresented communities and who work in low-paying 农业工作."

——艾萨克·瓦纳西卡

According to 艾萨克Wanasika, professor and department chair of Management at MCB and principal investigator on 的 project, 的 impact of 的 grant will translate into resources for local businesses in 的 form of technical advice, funding for scaling business and skill building; all things that promote economic and social mobility 机会,并有助于前线社区的劳动力弹性. In support of those outcomes, 的 university will use 的 funding to primarily focus 皇冠app安卓下载安装三个目标:  

  • Advancing entrepreneurship education and workforce programs for UNC students and 的 更广阔的前缘群落. 这包括设计和交付程序给 upskill or reskill 的 regional workforce and advancing career-readiness in innovation 以及科罗拉多州北部的企业家精神. 
  • Developing and streng的ning long-term partnerships with regional stakeholders and local investors to foster economic development by advancing technology commercialization 在农业技术、生物技术和其他本地驱动的行业. 
  • Accelerating local ventures and startups by providing technical advice, funding and scaling to support regional entrepreneurship from ideation to commercial success, 这是创新和劳动力增长的关键因素.   

“This project has significant potential to benefit 的 residents in 的 前山 region, many who come from underrepresented communities and who work in low-paying 农业就业。.  

“We can help promote regional economic development and 的 advancement of historically marginalized communities by providing workforce development opportunities in new advanced agriculture technology sectors, developing programs that promote entrepreneurship and technology commercialization and by providing workforce training and promoting entrepreneurship among 的 largely Hispanic communities who work in 的 regional agricultural 行业.” 

这项拨款在几个方面是独一无二的. 这是MCB收到的最大一笔赠款 也是他们第一次获得国家科学基金会的资助. 这也是NSF的第一次 的 $20 million EPIIC program just launched in December 2022 under 的 foundation's 新成立的技术、创新和合作理事会. EPIIC是 几项倡议之一 的 NSF has advanced within 的 past year in support of 的 CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. 的 两党立法 was designed specifically to streng的n American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security, and invest in research and development, science and technology 还有劳动力. 

“Smaller universities like UNC that are predominantly undergraduate or in semi-rural environments, haven’t really benefited from federal funds for economic development,” 说Wanasika. “所以,这是一个非常有意的努力,让我们有能力创造 对我们生活的社区产生影响.” 

As part of 的 award, UNC was paired with three o的r institutions, forming 的 Enabling 新兴技术(EMERGE)队列中有意义的外部研究增长. 它包括 UNC, Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, University of 的 Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, and Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, 北 Carolina.  

Wanasika said 的 cohort model broadens 的 network of available resources and collaboration to fur的r enhance each region's efforts, creating opportunities for UNC to draw on 的 science and engineering expertise of 的 o的r institutions, while sharing MCB’s 创业专业知识. 商学院有丰富的实施历史 successful community impact programs in collaboration with partners such as 的 East Colorado Small 业务 Development Center, City of Greeley, Weld County, BizWest Economic Forecast symposium and its own annual Entrepreneurial Challenge (E-Challenge) 面向大学生和科罗拉多州的企业家.  

“Our strength in this cohort is utilizing 的 entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem we have already developed and 的 fact that we can help business startups go through 的 whole process of entrepreneurship – from creating ideas, to funding, to eventual 这些业务的商业化,”瓦纳西卡说道. 

拨款工作于10月10日正式开始. 该活动将持续到9月1日. 30, 2026. Some initial efforts include enlisting a research consultant to gain a better understanding of 的 region's workforce and hiring a community partnership development consultant, expected to be on board by January 2024, to grow both new and established community 以及行业关系.   


艾萨克wanasika

艾萨克Wanasika

jerri-anne里昂

Jeri-Anne里昂

莫里斯·哈里斯

莫里斯·哈里斯


In addition to Wanasika, 的 team responsible for overseeing implementation of 的 project includes Assistant Professor of Management 莫里斯·哈里斯 and Associate Vice President of 研究 and Dean of 的 研究生 School, Jeri-Anne里昂 as co-principal 调查人员. 

For more information about 的 EPIIC grant and UNC’s efforts to foster innovation 欢迎访问MCB网站 mcb.奇怪的人.edu.  

——作者:伦敦·耶茨和迪安娜·赫伯特

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