Published: Dec. 6, 2016

VC Terri FiezIt is inspiring to see the level of innovation and creativity across this campus and throughout the Boulder community. Innovation is part of our DNA. It makes CU Boulder a special place to live, work, create and collaborate. Our campus is filled with creative staff, faculty and students who are having a positive impact on our world, from 60 seasons of the Shakespeare Festival to missions to Mars. In my first year here, I have been impressed with the CU Boulder mindset—we can make critical scientific discoveries, cultivate partnerships not previously envisioned and create a future never imagined before. Together, we can solve any problem.

Chancellor DiStefano has doubled down on our commitment as a campus to do good for the world with his new vision, and he energizes us with the three strategic imperatives of "Shape Tomorrow’s Leaders," "Be the Innovation University" and "Positively Impact Humanity." The Research & Innovation Office (RIO), formerly the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, stands ready to support campus-wide progress in research, creative works, partnerships, strategic initiatives and commercialization that aligns with these strategic imperatives.

Our campus has a long and rich history of thinking outside the box to inspire transformative advances. Starting in 1878—only two years after CU Boulder’s founding—our own Professor Mary Rippon served as one of the first female university instructors in the U.S., paving the way for valuing diversity in higher education long before the concept was widely accepted.  

In the 1950s and '60s, the establishment of collaborative research institutes including LASP, CIRES and JILA changed the way universities partner with federal labs and the public sector to solve problems of global importance.

Between 1989 and 2007, CU Boulder became known for its five Nobel laureates, bringing the university and community recognition as a global innovation hub.

In the 140 years since the university’s establishment, literally thousands of innovators, transformative discoveries and creative works have been launched from right here on our campus.

In the past few months alone, CU Boulder innovators have been recognized for patenting a promising cancer treatment, launching a new education policy research hub, developing a device to grow plants in space, participating in a project that is translating 39 Shakespeare plays into contemporary modern English, restoring ecosystems through novel approaches using insects, commercializing a rickshaw conversion kit to aid the environment and reduce poverty and finding more sustainable, cost-effective solutions for university operations.

To enhance your work—and accelerate progress toward our campus initiatives—the Research & Innovation Office has brought together the Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative, the Office of Industry Collaboration, Technology Transfer, the Grand Challenge, AeroSpace Ventures, our 11 research institutes and all of the campus’ research administrative support functions under one roof. The purpose of this consolidation is to facilitate more efficient processes, support research big and small, connect external partners with our researchers and allow our researchers and partners to focus on what they do best.

To make “the Innovation University” a reality, the Research & Innovation Office aims to help the campus and community connect the dots by creating an environment that sparks and enhances outstanding research and creative work, encourages it to be more collaborative and interdisciplinary and provides pathways to amplify impact on people around the world.

I can’t wait to learn more about your next big idea.

Terri Fiez,
Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation