Weekly Policy Blog: Campaign & Legislation Support Colorado’s Drive to Be a Leading Life Sciences Hub 

Colorado BioScience Association and a consortium of 22 Colorado partners have launched Colorado Hub for Health Impact, a new national economic development campaign to position Colorado as America’s epicenter for talent, investors, and life sciences-centric companies looking to start, relocate, or expand in our state.   

As outlined in the Denver Business Journal, BizWest, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Longmont Leader, and the Colorado Real Estate Journal, the effort emphasizes Colorado’s leading innovation talent, central location, robust infrastructure, collaborative community, reasonable costs, and unmatched quality of life as key reasons why companies considering relocation or expansion should join the state’s health innovation ecosystem. Colorado’s thriving life sciences community is known for leading-edge research, development, and commercialization with a global patient impact.    

CBSA leads Policy + Advocacy to build a pro-innovation business climate in our state. We currently are supporting four bills this legislative session to advance CBSA’s Policy Priorities related to innovation, education, and workforce development. This kind of legislation supports Colorado’s drive to be a leading location for life sciences innovation. In addition, CBSA was pleased to see that Governor Polis unveiled a comprehensive workforce development package on March 7 that includes a variety of initiatives and would “boost tax credits and grants for companies offering apprenticeships.” 

The four innovation, education, and workforce development-related bills CBSA is currently supporting are: 

  • SB24-050 Colorado Workforce Demonstration Grants Pilot Program (Sen. T. Exum) creates a pilot program to award grants to eligible workforce training providers, based on certain criteria. The program would be repealed in 2029. 
  • SB24-104 Career & Technical Education & Apprenticeships (Sen. J. Danielson) requires the state apprenticeship agency in the Department of Labor and Employment, in coordination with the career and technical education division of the Colorado community college system, to align the high school career and technical education system and the registered apprenticeship system for programs and occupations related to infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, education, or health care. By July 2026, the bill requires both entities to expand the number of aligned pathways, prioritizing programs and occupations identified as top jobs by the annual Colorado talent pipeline report. 
  • HB24-1231 State Funding for Higher Education Projects (Rep. L. Daugherty, Rep. M. Young; Sen. B. Kirkmeyer, Sen. K. Mullica) would provide $50 million in funding for construction of a Veterinary Health Education Complex at Colorado State University as well as make historic investments in three other higher education institutions working to meet healthcare needs across the state: the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Northern Colorado, the Health Institute Tower at Metro State University in Denver and the Valley Campus Building Addition at Trinidad State. 
  • HB24-1325 Tax Credits for Quantum Industry Support (Rep. M. Soper, Rep. A. Valdez; Sen. M. Baisley, Sen. J. Bridges) was introduced following the Biden administration naming Colorado a federally-designated quantum tech hub in October, citing the industry’s technological uses for medicine, computing, logistics, networks, and military operations. The state is now trying to compete in the second phase for money to develop a quantum technology ecosystem. At stake is up to $70 million in federal funding, and this legislation would maximize the state’s competitiveness by investing an additional $74 million in the industry’s development. 

The workforce development package unveiled by Governor Polis on March 7 also includes bills that would strengthen postsecondary workforce initiatives and provide “$2 million in funding to businesses in ‘new and emerging industries’ looking to start or scale an apprenticeship program, $2 million to the organizations that support the administration of those programs, and $30 million in annual refundable tax credits to these businesses to offset apprentices’ wages.” 

CBSA’s Policy + Advocacy team collaborates with partners and policymakers to advocate for CBSA’s Policy Priorities. CBSA supports a collaborative, pro-innovation environment for life sciences in Colorado to advance the state as a leading life sciences hub. Founded by Colorado BioScience Association in 2015, the Colorado BioScience Institute cultivates and diversifies the state’s life sciences workforce, from classroom, to campus, to career.  

Categories: CBSA News