Goal Four: Open Innovation District

Serve as the anchor institution for an open innovation district in downtown Denver

In research labs and tech centers around the world, innovation has typically happened behind closed doors and in proprietary secrecy that in many ways has actually stifled innovation. We see a refreshingly different and more inclusive way to leverage our spending power and proximity to the thriving innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Denver to fuel inclusive innovation, collaboration, sustainability, and economic growth for Denver and Colorado, because we know that diverse perspectives lead to more outside-the-box solutions.

Uniquely positioned within a magnificent landscape and a vital downtown, the city and environs are our campus, as well as our canvas. Our open innovation district will be a vibrant, open-access hub of intellectual and creative vigor with CU Denver at the center. In the heart of our emerging global city, we will leverage our place and partnership philosophy to foster new forms of social entrepreneurship, economic development, public-private partnerships, and transformative education. We will expand the boundaries of our campus to be the convener of the brightest and most diverse inventors, thinkers, and entrepreneurs to collectively shape the future of our region and beyond through the most impactful connections in academic and civic life. We will advance mutually beneficial pursuits and maximize the collective strength of CU Denver and our greater community.

The work we’ll do:

  • Distinguish CU Denver and strengthen our identity in downtown Denver, in part through sustainable urban design and placemaking.
  • Employ new, effective partnership strategies and creatively leverage our location to build sustainable physical spaces that foster open innovation.
  • Strengthen our ties in the community by inviting a range of contributors to advance collective goals.
  • Transform the standard public-private partnerships (PPP, or P3) model for collaboration by introducing a fourth P, people, to include our neighbors and diversify innovation communities.
  • Embody a culture of open innovation across the university, encouraging collaboration, invention, creativity, and growth in all that we do.
Follow along as we move forward with plans for the anchor of our open innovation district: a state-of-the-art engineering, design and computing building.

We're there when:

We are known for our inclusive innovation model that works for all and as a convener that creates conversations and connections with national experts and global thought leaders about emerging trends in society. Our location is seen as the place for innovation, and we are an indispensable resource in Denver, Colorado, and the region—the most sought-after education and research partner and an essential provider of workforce talent.

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