What is the Grand Challenge?

Grand Challenges are ambitious but achievable goals that harness science, technology, and innovation to solve important national or global problems and that have the potential to capture the public’s imagination. On April 2, 2013, President Obama called on companies, research universities, foundations and philanthropists to join him in identifying and pursuing the Grand Challenges of the 21st century.

Our world is facing significant issues with a changing environment, increasing populations and limited resources. The intersection of people, resources and our planet is where CU Boulder can use its expertise in space-based observation and exploration to address our world’s most pressing problems. 

How will CU Boulder address this challenge?

Our Space. Our Future. fuses CU Boulder’s unique strengths in Earth, space and social sciences with new technologies and partners to address the pace and pattern of changes for our environment, our resources and our planet.

We will:

  • Develop pathways to connect critical earth and space science knowledge to stakeholders and decision makers through the incorporation of social science and education with earth and space science efforts.
  • Create an environment within which academia, industry and government work collaboratively to solve problems of national and international importance.
  • Build new infrastructure and capabilities that support CU Boulder's Earth and space science efforts while increasing CU Boulder’s stature nationally and internationally.
  • Create new ways for education and training of students to meet national needs in the emerging Earth and space exploration sectors.
  • Increase the number of federal and commercial partners engaged in CU Boulder earth and space exploration efforts, allowing CU Boulder to successfully compete for both traditional and nontraditional funding opportunities.