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Tenth Anniversary Event Honored Colorado’s
Top Scientists and Engineers
for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society!


On October 4, 2018 we celebrated brilliant discoveries from the realms of clean energy chemistry, profound advances in disease diagnosis, astounding fundamental atomic physics shaping global nanotechnology and surprising results of "everyday" consumer activities affecting atmospheric pollution - our 10th Anniversary Awards event was incredible!

​Our premier scientific research recognition event in Colorado saw 250 researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials celebrate the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs and institutes. 

Presented By:

CONGRATULATIONS to the WINNERS!
 
WINNER:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Metabolic biomarkers for improved diagnosis and prognosis
of early Lyme disease.
WINNER:
JILA
Revolutionizing ultrafast and nanoscale imaging through
the research and development of tabletop x-ray sources. 
 
WINNER:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
A sustainable, elegant solution to produce cost-competitive acrylonitrile.
 
2018 Honorable Mention
Cooperative Institute for Research in the environmental Sciences
 
Consumer Products' Emissions - Pioneering work on growing emissions from consumer products improves scientific understanding of air pollution and benefits environmental regulation and policy.
Watch their Spotlight Videos - and say "WOW!"​
See full details at the 
2018 Governor's Awards for High-Impact Research Website
including nominations, press releases, photos and more
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2018 CO LABS Governor Awards for High Impact Research Event
02:17
CO-LABS

2018 CO LABS Governor Awards for High Impact Research Event

Brilliant discoveries from the realms of clean energy chemistry, profound advances in disease diagnosis, astounding fundamental atomic physics shaping global nanotechnology and surprising results of "everyday" consumer activities affecting atmospheric pollution the CO-LABS 10th Anniversary Awards event was another fantastic celebration of scientific discovery! This premier scientific research recognition event in Colorado included 200 researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials as we celebrated the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs and institutes. Thanks to Fireside Production for this great video; and Copan Studios for the cover photo! Special guests included Robert R. Redfield, MD, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry - Dr. Walter Copan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology & Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - Dr. Martin Keller, Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) & President of the Alliance for Sustainable Energy - Dr. Waleed Abdalati, Executive Director, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Plus Keynote Speaker Alice Jackson, President of Xcel Energy - Colorado. Our Presenting Sponsors were Colorado State University and University of Colorado - Boulder; their support provided tickets to the first-place winners of the Colorado State Science and Engineering Fair and their parents and mentors. See more at www.2018GovAwards.com
2018 Governor Awards for High Impact Research winner: JILA
04:20
CO-LABS

2018 Governor Awards for High Impact Research winner: JILA

Dr. Margaret Murnane, JILA and University of Colorado - Boulder Dr. Henry Kapteyn, JILA and University of - Colorado Boulder JILA's Ultrafast Imaging Team The JILA Ultrafast Imaging Team, led by Drs. Murnane and Kapteyn, revolutionized research and technology when they created the world’s first tabletop x-ray laser systems in 2007. Drs. Murnane and Kapteyn not only lead this large JILA research group that continually improves x-ray laser capabilities and applies them to high impact problems such as improving semiconductor device performance but they also founded and lead a local growing high-tech laser company that disseminates their laser technology to enable advanced measurements across broader research and development community. Compared to the expensive, limited access billion-dollar-scale x-ray facilities such as free-electron lasers and synchrotrons, the JILA team’s work has led to reduced competition for limited access to these expensive large facilities, scientists and companies can now have their own tabletop system. Thousands of research groups and companies across Colorado, the US and the world can build on the JILA Team’s foundational technologies and innovations, broadly advancing research and commercial products. the Team’s alumni have opened new avenues for medical diagnoses, treatment, and prevention; for example at the Mayo Clinic, they are making innovative advances their imaging research in the department of Radiology; this research includes high-detail imaging of the brain for Alzheimer’s disease, noninvasive mapping of the vascular system, real-time imaging of the heart, and touchsimulating technology. Drs. Murnane and Kapteyn are also leading the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Centeron Real-Time Functional Imaging, called STROBE. STROBE aims to bring together researchers across the U.S. who are developing new technologies to probe the nanometer and atomic scales, and combine the advances of visible, x-ray, nano-probe, and electron microscopy imaging, for an ultimate goal of understanding and structure and functionality of various types of matter as they change over time. STROBE’s vision is to transform imaging science and technology of functioning nanosystems. Read more at https://bit.ly/2xSqmfi
2018 Governor Awards for High Impact Research winner: NREL
03:07
CO-LABS

2018 Governor Awards for High Impact Research winner: NREL

Dr. Gregg Beckham, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Dr. Erik Karp, NREL Dr. Violeta Sánchez i Nogué, NREL Vassili Vorotnikov, NREL Principal Investigators The NREL team has created a novel process for producing acrylonitrile from biomass. NREL’s new nitrilation technology produces near-100% yields of cost-competitive acrylonitrile—representing a huge market—from non-food biomass. A renewable alternative to the petrochemical method, nitrilation eliminates toxic byproducts, requires less energy, uses inexpensive catalysts, and can be performed in a simple reactor configuration with no explosion hazards. Developed in the 1950s, acrylonitrile has become an indispensable component of our daily lives. However, nearly all commercial acrylonitrile is produced today via an energy-intensive, chemically hazardous, petroleum-based process. Currently, more than 7 billion kilograms of acrylonitrile are produced worldwide annually. It is used to make home furnishings such as carpets and draperies, as well as clothing and fabrics. In addition, acrylonitrile is used in plastics such as food containers, packaging materials, electronic devices, sports equipment, and children’s toys; in various rubber products; and in specialty products such as paints, caulking materials, and cosmetics. The NREL team has developed a sustainable route to produce acrylonitrile and carbon fibers via nitrilation chemistry; their process has been able to achieve an extraordinary 98% yield of acrylonitrile from 3-hydroxypropionic acid, which can be biologically produced from plant sugars, ethanol, glycerol, syngas, and other low-cost renewable feedstocks. The NREL approach led to the development of a hybrid biological/catalytic method—one that had never been tried before—that could do the job of ammoxidation conversion much more efficiently. In addition to the more efficient and less polluting attributes, savings are possible: General-grade carbon fiber costs between $6 and $8 per pound. Using nitrilation technology pushes carbon fiber pricing below $5 per pound. Studies have shown that lightweight carbon fiber materials could reduce passenger car weight by 50% and improve fuel efficiency by about 35% without compromising performance or safety. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2P8BLOJ

History of the Governor’s Awards for High Impact Research:


Started in 2009, the annual Governor's Awards for High-Impact Research celebrates the brilliant ground-breaking discoveries and innovative research from Colorado’s ecosystem of federally-funded laboratories and institutions. That year, following the creation of CO-LABS in 2007, Governor Bill Ritter suggested hosting a celebratory and spotlighting event; the various labs were prompted to submit nominations and a Selection Committee was convened of professional researchers, technologists, academics and economic development experts to identify remarkable research having “high impact” on society. 

 

Each year at this event, CO-LABS spotlights the men and women creating our future through brilliant technological and engineering discoveries in aerospace, energy, agriculture, public health, weather prediction, wildlife ecology, communication, earth science and dozens of other fields of research right here in our communities. Over the years Colorado Governors Ritter and Hickenlooper have presented winners with these awards and comments recognizing their impact on our country's leadership in science.

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