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CO-LABS Announces Winners of 2016 Governor's Award for High-Impact Research

Tuesday, October 04, 2016
Eighth Annual Event Honors Colorado’s Top Scientists and Engineers for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society
From the furthest reaches of space to the smallest quantum particles to measurements of atmospheric gases and assessment of human B cell antibodies – CO-LABS has announced the four winners of the 2016 Governor's Award for High-Impact Research. Now in its 8th year, the event gathers scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials to celebrate the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federal research labs.

"These projects highlight the diversity and impact of the science and technology coming out of Colorado’s labs that make our state and the world a better place,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “These awardees prove that collaboration, innovation and incredible vision between the labs, Colorado’s research universities and private sector partners can result in remarkable achievements that make Colorado and our world smarter, safer, healthier and more sustainable."

The winners will be formally recognized by Governor Hickenlooper on Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard in Denver, Colorado. The event is hosted by CO-LABS and presented by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy. Tickets and registration details are available at CO-LABS has contracted again with Fireside Productions to produce compelling video interviews with this year’s winners.

This year's winners in four categories are:

·         Earth Systems and Space Sciences:

Winner: LASP Director Dr. Daniel Baker Leads Research on Critical Space Weather Forecasting Missions (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics) DETAILS

·         Foundational Science and Technology:

Winner:  The JILA Quantum Machine Team: Extending Mastery of Quantum Mechanics from Microscopic Particles to Human-Made Machines (JILA is a joint institute between CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology) DETAILS

·         Public Health and Life Sciences:

Winner: Innovative Diagnostic Response to Public Health Emergencies - Zika and Yellow Fever Epidemics (Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases)

·         Sustainability:

Winner: Preparing and Maintaining Critical Greenhouse Gas Calibration Standards and Methods Used in the Worldwide Monitoring of these Critical Atmospheric Gases (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth Systems Research Laboratory) DETAILS

·         Honorable Mention:

NREL's Battery Internal Short-Circuit (ISC) Device: A Breakthrough in Battery Safety (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) DETAILS
"We are thrilled to have the Governor's recognition of the Quantum Machine Team as a preeminent example of the partnership between University of Colorado and Federal government scientists that serves to maintain Colorado's leading role in emerging science and technology innovation,” said JILA Chair Dr. Dana Z. Anderson: “Building on more than 50 years of Colorado-Federal joint research and training, JILA is proud to witness quantum technology having a rapidly growing impact on the economy of Colorado and the nation." Read more about JILA at

“I am honored on behalf of all the great people at LASP doing space research to accept this recognition from CO-LABS and Governor Hickenlooper,” said Dr. Daniel Baker, Director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. We appreciate the acknowledgement of the efforts we are making at the University of Colorado to address space weather issues. It is gratifying to study themes that are both fascinating from a basic scientific point of view and also highly relevant for societal needs.” Read more about LASP at
“Every day CDC staff are committed to protecting the American public and people worldwide from disease,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The Division of Vector-Borne Diseases is proud to be a part of the Colorado research community. It is especially gratifying that the dedication and innovation of our talented staff are being recognized by this honor.” Read more at

Since 2009, CO-LABS has convened a special committee of academic researchers, technology transfer experts and science and engineering professionals to review nominations from Colorado’s labs. Through a thoughtful and thorough process this group selects projects that have had a significant global, national or state impact resulting from a scientific breakthrough, change in public policy or development of a new technology.

 “Colorado has one of the highest per capita concentrations of federal science, research and engineering facilities in the nation, with renowned scientists whose research has global impact in a range of fields including agriculture, climate and weather, earth science, materials science, natural resource management, renewable energy, space physics and telecommunications,” said CO-LABS Executive Director Dan Powers. “This prestigious event provides a unique opportunity to connect with leading scientists, lab directors, business leaders and policymakers in an informal and celebratory setting, as we highlight the labs’ role in innovation and their significant contribution to the state economy.”

Read more about each winning research project and register for the event at

About CO-LABS:

CO-LABS is a non-profit consortium of federal laboratories, research institutions, businesses and economic development organizations that provide financial and in-kind support for programs that promote the retention and expansion of Colorado scientific resources. Through events, economic analyses, strategic communications and networking activities we work to:

• PROMOTE Colorado as a global leader in research and technology
• EDUCATE the public about the labs’ impact and importance of sustained funding for research
• CONNECT the labs, universities and businesses to facilitate partnerships and technology transfer

To learn more, visit
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