The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has introduced Colorado NextCycle, a program that provides funding, expertise and economic data to Colorado businesses, communities, universities and startups interested in turning recovered materials into marketable products.
In August 2017, the department adopted statewide waste diversion goals that would double the state’s recycling rate to 45 percent by 2036. However, the department says Colorado’s geography and changes in international end markets pose significant challenges to meeting that goal through existing programs and efforts.
The Colorado NextCycle program will provide modest grants to selected teams to incubate their business ideas while receiving technical support, mentoring and industry and economic data. The goal is to nurture viable ideas to fundable, shovel-ready status for submission to the 2019 department grant cycle, the CDPHE says. Business concepts may be focused on developing end markets for any recovered commodity or organic material, including secondary processing of recovered materials.
The CDPHE is funding Colorado NextCycle, and RRS, a sustainability and recycling consulting firm headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with an office location in Boulder, is facilitating the program.
A technical advisory committee, including subject matter experts covering material processing, infrastructure, manufacturing, finance, risk assessment, partnerships and market development, will provide input and guidance to help teams create successful business plans. The department has contracted with RRS to support the development of the Colorado NextCycle program and assess potential project teams.
“We’re proud to announce this refreshed approach to our end-market development grant program,” says Eric Heyboer, recycling grant program administrator at the department. “We hope to encourage a wide range of applicants, from industry to academia to the public, to form cross-sector teams and put forward their best ideas to support material diversion in the state.”
Colorado NextCycle will accept letters of intent starting Nov. 16 and ending Dec. 14. For more information about the program and to apply, visit the Colorado NextCycle web page or email email@example.com.
Laurie Johnson, executive director of Recycle Colorado, says, “Colorado NextCycle will work to provide innovative business teams the resources they need to make their ideas successful. This program should attract applicants from across the nation looking to capitalize on the great opportunities to work with recovered materials in our state.”
Johnson will serve as a member of the technical advisory committee.
Additional external financial partners and investors interested in supporting and extending the department’s investment in NextCycle should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.