(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) awarded 40 teams across the country with the first of its kind NSF Engines Development Awards.

In Colorado, Advancing Space Technologies/Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation was recognized and awarded $941,375.

“Of the over 450 applicants, we are one of the 44 unique teams that received one of these NSF Engine development awards,” Senior Executive Director of Catalyst Campus, Dawn Conley, said.

The award will help further support the space ecosystem in Southern Colorado, by creating new businesses and fostering technological innovation.

“We are excited for this opportunity to create something really unique and advantageous for our community,” Conley said. “Our grant is named the Resilient Space Infrastructures, Systems, and Economy, and we have called that RISE.”

The Resilient Space Infrastructures, Systems, and Economy (RISE) development award were given to 44 teams across 46 states to help businesses, nonprofit organizations, and universities.

“We’re excited that this award aims to directly build our regional workforce by creating new businesses, services, and industries through collaborating with federal agency partners,” Mayor John Suthers said. “These investments require a collaborative effort involving industry, government, and higher education.”

The RISE development award will serve as a dual-use innovation engine to help with economic development in the space industry while also building on our national security.

“The RISE engine is going to fuel the United States to become a world leader in emerging space economy and in the cyber security sector, while building international alliances to spread leadership, our values, and an impact for the greater good,” said President & CEO of Colorado Spring Chamber and EDC, Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer.

Local leaders spoke on the readiness of Colorado Springs in meeting the demands of the space industry.

“In El Paso County, we pride ourselves on supporting national defense space systems, space infrastructure, and cybersecurity for the space economy are some of our fastest growing industries in El Paso County and Colorado,” said El Paso County Commissioner, Carrie Geitner.

When looking towards the future, Mayor Suthers said how important of a role the space industry has in the Pikes Peak Region.

“The space industry isn’t slowing down any time soon,” said Suthers. “It’s going to be a huge part of our future.”

The RISE development award will further benefit the space industry workforce and bring about more funds to the city of Colorado Springs.

“Moving forward, we think today’s grant we think this lays the groundwork for greater funding in Colorado Springs, in El Paso County,” Kleymeyer, said. “In fact, after our two years of planning, this is going to open up dollars of 168 million that we’re going to be eligible for.”