Colorado has one of the nation's largest aerospace economies and CU plays a key role in that success. We have seen repeatedly that government, industry and university partnerships drive success in the space economy. Therefore it's important that we continue and expand our partnerships.

A shining example of industry partnership is BioServe Space Technologies in our Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department.

BioServe has collaborated with more than 100 companies and organizations to send dozens of experiments to space ranging from basic through applied research, and commercial applications. This includes everything from bone-loss mitigation to growing food in space.

BioServe has had more than 70 life-science payloads on more than 45 space flight missions over the past 25-plus years. This includes payloads on the space shuttle, MIR, Soyuz and now the International Space Station.

Space flight provides a unique test bed for developing new technologies and products with ultimate benefits targeting both space-based and terrestrial applications.

BioServe presents unique learning opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students and its K-12 educational outreach offers students the ability to participate in near real-time life science research on board the International Space Station.

Another great example of university-industry collaboration is our longstanding partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems in Louisville, in the design and development of the Dream Chaser commercial manned spacecraft. Both our graduates and students have been part of this exciting endeavor.

Sixty-six CU graduates are employed at Sierra Nevada Space Systems and 10 CU interns are working there.

Today we put these two top enterprises, BioServe and Dream Chaser, together for an exciting announcement by Sierra Nevada Space Systems.

It's another example of expanding our collaboration with industry that supports the local economy and offers our students valuable experiential learning.

To make this important announcement it is my pleasure to introduce the head of Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems, Mark Sirangelo.

Mr. Sirangelo is also chairman of the governor's Colorado Innovation Network and is Chief Innovation Officer of the State of Colorado, a voluntary cabinet position unique in the U.S. It is my good fortune to have him on my Advisory Board.

Please welcome Mark Sirangelo.