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Home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado is a hub for clean energy research, development, and deployment, as well as a burgeoning technology sector. In addition to NREL, ORNL’s partners in the Centennial State include Colorado State University and the University of Colorado, solid-state battery producer Solid Power, precision engineering firm Forge Nano, and ColdQuanta, a quantum computing and networking company.

Value of contracts awarded $22.6M
81% Percentage to small businesses
9% Percentage to educational institutions
Publications authored with Colorado institutions 599
Organizations that sponsored research with ORNL 3
Technology licenses issued to organizations 2
ORNL User Facilities Users in Colorado
Building Technologies Research and Integration Center 1
Carbon Fiber Technology Facility 1
Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences 5
High Flux Isotope Reactor 3
Manufacturing Demonstration Facility 1
Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility 32
Spallation Neutron Source 7

ORNL’s user facilities offer a diverse set of tools for experiments across a range of fields, including biology, materials and energy sciences, physics, engineering, and chemistry. Learn more about ORNL’s user facilities. Data reflects fiscal year 2020 except for scientific publications, which covers 2016–2020. Partner stories reflect work conducted from 2016 to present.


Located on two campuses in Golden and Arvada, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is advancing the science and engineering of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies and provides the knowledge to integrate and optimize energy systems. NREL is a peer Department of Energy laboratory to ORNL and a partner on numerous projects including the Center for Bioenergy Innovation.


Mountains are the natural water towers of the world, but Earth system models have been unable to predict the timing and availability of water resources from mountains due, in part, to limited observational data. To address this, the DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement user facility installed the Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory near Crested Butte. The data is hosted by the ARM Data Center, located at ORNL. The field campaign runs through June 2023, capturing data about the atmosphere and land-atmosphere interactions that impact the movement of water across mountains in the continental interior of the United States.


Learn more about environmental science at ORNL.

Berkeley Lab video: “First-ever ‘Bedrock-to-Atmosphere’ Climate Observatory


The Center for Bioenergy Innovation, a DOE Bioenergy Research Center focused on engineering better plants and microbes to produce sustainable, cost-competitive biofuels and bioproducts, comprises partners from national laboratories, industry, and academia, including Colorado State University, University of Colorado, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


Learn more about biological science at ORNL.


ORNL contracted with Colorado’s ColdQuanta to build a custom ion trap platform. This promising approach poses fewer hurdles to quantum computing than other current methods. The cryogenic system will allow ORNL, a leader in quantum information science, to test cryogenic devices and assess the feasibility of ion trap computing in solving problems of national importance.


Learn more about computer science at ORNL.

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