Published: Jan. 6, 2020 By

The University of Colorado Boulder today announced the consolidation of several different groups into a single streamlined, campus-wide team responsible for developing and maximizing the university’s relationships with industry and philanthropic foundation partners.

“This consolidation of two vital partners and the new relationships they will generate will have great benefits for our faculty, staff, students and external partners," said CU Boulder Provost Russell Moore. "I look forward to seeing the exciting new outcomes of this strategic move."

The combined group, Industry and Foundation Relations (IFR), will report jointly to Advancement and the Research & Innovation Office, the respective homes for the primary groups being combined—the Corporate and Foundation Relations team and the Office of Industry Collaboration. 

“Bringing together the talent into one cohesive unit will facilitate a more strategic approach to building partnerships,” said Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation Terri Fiez. “It will be exciting to see the opportunities that arise as we match their interests and needs with CU Boulder strengths.”

Additionally, the industry and foundation-focused teams within the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the Leeds School of Business will join this combined group and will ensure that the level of service those units are accustomed to are upheld.

The new team will be led by Executive Director Jessica Helzer, who will provide leadership to the IFR team while continuing to serve the advancement needs of the BioFrontiers Institute and the Renée Crown Wellness Institute. Amy Hill, managing senior director for advancement, will lead the foundation-focused group within the team, which will be hiring additional staff to join current foundation-focused team members in supporting expanded foundation-related efforts. A search is underway for the lead for the industry-focused portion of the team, which will also add staff to bolster industry collaborations.

The new alignment builds on the core strengths of the staff already dedicated to building collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships with corporations and foundations. It also addresses challenges associated with having multiple CU Boulder groups working with the same external partners by improving strategic alignment and clarity of roles and responsibilities to provide a more seamless experience for industry and foundation partners. 

“As we’ve continued to explore opportunities to grow our partnerships—in support of our research, teaching and service mission—we were confident that we already had great people in place,” said Vice Chancellor for Advancement Deb Coffin, “but we knew we didn’t have the optimal structure to support our staff and partners. The combined group will provide our team with the resources and clarity to take our partnerships to a new level.” 

The reorganization is part of the university’s effort to realize the vision for its industry and foundation relations to deliver “a partner-centric strategy and an on-campus support team that aligns financial investment in the research, discovery and creativity of Boulder’s faculty and students with satisfied corporate and foundation partners.”

Visit the IFR team's website at to learn more about the new team.