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CU Boulder Creates “eSpace Center”

Looks like CU Boulder isn’t so kooky after all (well, okay it is, but it’s at least doing something of potential benefit to commercial space):

Aerospace company SpaceDev and the University of Colorado at Boulder have teamed to form the Center for Space Entrepreneurship, or eSpace, an incubator focused on fostering space startup companies and commercializing technologies with space applications.

The not-for-profit will be located at the Louisville offices of SpaceDev, a Sierra Nevada Corp. subsidiary.

A $1 million grant from the Metro Denver Wired initiative helped fund the creation of the incubator. Other funding came from the Colorado Office of Economic Development, CU, SpaceDev and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The eSpace center will offer five $20,000 grants to entrepreneurs in its first year. It’s also launching design competition in CU’s Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, funding three hands-on, student projects with a $90,000 grant.

Combining CU’s academic research resources with the manufacturing infrastructure at SpaceDev should create a fertile environment for space-oriented startup companies, said Scott Tibbitts, executive director of eSpace.

Tibbitts is the founder of StarSys Research, a company that SpaceDev bought in 2005. He will make eSpace his full-time focus.

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