Advanced Industries Grants

Colorado invests in life sciences.

As a designated Advanced Industry in Colorado, life sciences makes a significant contribution to the state’s diverse and fast-growing economy, creating high-paying jobs for more than 38,000 Coloradans.

Grant programs provide important sources of non-dilutive funding for researchers and companies at all stages of commercialization.

Advanced Industries Grant Program Impact

The Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program provides critical, early-stage funding for promising life sciences companies. From 2017-2022, the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has awarded more than 450 Advanced Industries grants to Colorado bioscience companies. The program makes a significant impact in the state, creating:

  • 450+ grants awarded
  • 46 new life science companies
  • 691 direct jobs
  • $570.4 million in follow-on capital

Research-Stage Grants

Advanced Industries Proof-of-Concept Grant

This grant provides funding to help Colorado research institutions speed up applied research in advanced industries and commercialize products and services with the private sector. The grant funds pre-commercial research and commercialization preparation. Projects can receive up to $150,000.

Emerging Companies

Advanced Industries Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grant

The Advanced Industries Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grant helps Colorado-based advanced industries technology businesses develop and commercialize advanced technologies that will be created or manufactured in Colorado. Projects can receive up to $250,000.

Advanced Industries Collaborative Infrastructure Grant

This grant helps teams of Colorado-based advanced industries technology businesses and nonprofits develop new large-scale projects. Projects need to cover gaps in the advanced industries and identify a matching fund of 2-to-1 non-State funding to State funding.

Advanced Industries Export Accelerator Grant
Provides stipends to businesses new to exporting or expanding into new export markets. Grant size limited to $15,000 with a one (state) to one (company) match.

Advanced Industry Investment Tax Credit

The Colorado State Legislature renewed and expanded the Advanced Industries Investment Tax Credit in 2022, increasing program funds by 433%. The program encourages investments in Colorado advanced industries businesses by incentivizing investors with state income tax credits.

Investors can earn a tax credit of 25% of their investment up to a maximum $100,000 credit on an investment of $10,000 or more. If the advanced industries business is in a Colorado enterprise zone or rural county, investors can earn a state income tax credit of 35% of their investment.

Cash Collateral Support (CCS)
Creates greater access to capital for small and medium-sized businesses operating in Colorado that are experiencing difficulty securing credit due to collateral shortfalls.

Venture Capital Authority (VCA)
A venture capital funding program designed to fill a gap in private capital markets and provide seed and early-stage capital investments in Colorado companies.

Rural Jump-Start Zone Program
Provides tax relief to new businesses and new hires of these businesses that are located in certain economically-distressed areas of rural Colorado. Download the fact sheet.

Late-Stage Companies

Colorado FIRST and Existing Industry-Job Training Grants
Programs invest in the labor force and incentivize a business’ growth in Colorado by providing grants to companies that are locating or expanding in Colorado.

Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit
Provides a state income tax credit to businesses undertaking job creation projects that would not occur in Colorado without this program.

All Stages

Colorado Enterprise Zone Tax Credits

In addition to the above tax credits, which are available to all Colorado businesses that meet eligibility requirements regardless of location, Colorado also offers several tax credits to businesses that locate in a designated “enterprise zone” (EZ). [1]  EZs are economically distressed areas as determined by the Colorado Economic Development Commission. Economically distressed areas include areas that have high unemployment rates (25% above state average), low per capita income (25% below state average), and/or slower population growth (less than 25% of state average in rural areas). This program structure is similar to the Advanced Industry Investment Tax Credit, mentioned earlier, which offers increased credits to companies located in EZs.

Enterprise Zone Investment Tax Credit

Businesses investing in enterprise zones through business person property can earn a 3% tax credit.

Enterprise Zone Job Training Tax Credit

Companies that implement a qualified job-training program for their enterprise zone employees may earn an income tax credit of 12% of their eligible training costs.

Enterprise Zone Research & Development Tax Credit

Businesses conducting research and development may earn a 3% tax credit on the increase in such expenditures as compared to that of the prior 2 years.  

Enterprise Zone New Employee Tax Credit

The Colorado Enterprise Zone New Employee Tax Credit allows any business with an establishment in a designated Enterprise Zone to claim an income tax credit of $1,100 per net new employee. Businesses in Enhanced Rural Enterprise Zones earn an extra $2,000 per net new employee. New and existing businesses may qualify for the credit, as long as they maintain operations in the enterprise zone during the entire tax year. 

Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Projects - A tax credit provided under new section 48D of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-148). The credit is a tax benefit targeted to therapeutic discovery projects.  

Federal Grant Programs

Federal grant programs offer companies within Colorado’s life sciences ecosystem additional sources of critical funding to support business growth and product development.

Federal grant information is available in a searchable, mobile database at

Key grant programs include:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
  • Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

The NIH offers helpful tips for first-time grant applications in an informational video: