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We Connect Technologists To Manifest Scientific Discoveries Improving the World: 

Since World War II, our country's national security
and global leadership in technology has relied on
fundamental scientific research and discoveries
in taxpayer-funded research labs.
At CO-LABS we believe it is crucial to support scientific research in Colorado - and that discoveries in federal research labs here are making the world smarter, safer, more resilient and  capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.
For the United States, being the source of our own brilliance is crucial in the face of global challenges ranging from public health to energy to cybersecurity to food production (and space exploration, climate change/extreme weather, robotics, augmented reality, quantum computing, and much more...)

We ensure technologists,  economic development experts, scientific thought leaders and elected officials can leverage the  resources, discoveries and cutting-edge technologies available in Colorado's federal research labs. 

Our Aspirational Purpose: To Make Colorado THE Hub of Scientific Research
the Planet's Most Crucial Challenges

What CO-LABS Means to Colorado's Innovation Economy: 

Our Mission: It is our mission to ensure Colorado's federal research laboratory ecosystem remains a 
world-class scientific discovery and innovation asset to the state and the country by communicating 
the value of taxpayer-funded research, promoting partnerships with federal labs and connecting with 
key stakeholders across academia, the private sector and civic leadership.

Our Vision: We envision Colorado as the Epicenter of Interdisciplinary Scientific Discoveries by a 
Diverse Network of Scientists Shaping The Path of Humanity.

In pursuit of this mission and vision, CO-LABS educates the public, businesses, educational organizations, and government officials about the value of federally-funded scientific laboratories. We create connections between these sectors, and support the technology transfer of Colorado's scientific resources from the lab into society. 

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 


Established in 2007, CO-LABS is a tax exempt 501(c)3 that is funded through membership and event sponsorship donations. The CO-LABS consortium includes Colorado federal research laboratories, research universities, state and local governments, economic development organizations, private businesses and nonprofit organizations.  

Colorado’s research laboratories are often called upon to help solve state, national, and global issues.  CO-LABS plays an important role in bringing together the collective research and development expertise within Colorado to highlight the state-of-the-art in scientific knowledge and identify solutions to difficult societal challenges. 


CO-LABS considers any research entity getting 50% or more of its funding from federal sources to be included in Colorado's network of "federal labs", whether they are financially contributing members or not to CO-LABS. With this definition, we include several joint research institutes on university campuses working on basic research as well as the commercialization of technologies.

Key CO-LABS Activities

  • We collect and analyze data to understand the scientific and economic value of federally-funded research labs in Colorado.  According to our 2017 study by the CU-Boulder Leeds School of Business for CO-LABS, federal labs in Colorado together with their affiliates contributed $2.6 billion to the state economy in fiscal years 2014-2015 and accounted for more than 17,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

  • We inform the public about what the federal labs do and their scientific and economic value to Colorado. We promote the work of those federal research labs in Colorado and provide information about technology transfer, testing facilities and scientific specializations.

  • We facilitate interactions between Colorado’s federal labs, universities, and its businesses to enhance the potential for new partnerships, technology transfer, and job creation. 

  • We host the annual Governor’s High-Impact Research Awards celebration to recognize the global research impact of Colorado-based federal scientists. 

To find out more about becoming a CO-LABS partner contact Executive Director Dan Powers at 720-389-0455 or

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Raymond P. Goodrich, PhD

Executive Director, Infectious Disease Research Center, Colorado State University

"The work that CO-LABS does helps us maintain a leadership position that not only benefits Colorado, but also provides the source of problem solving and problem preventing efforts ranging from infectious disease research, agricultural programs, energy programs, defense related programs and  environmental efforts that impact the citizens of Colorado, the United States and the world in general.”

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Katie Woslager

Senior Manager- Advanced Industries, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)

“The State of Colorado has enjoyed working with CO-LABS to strengthen our relationships with Federal Labs to further promote collaboration and participation. We support your mission and role in bringing together the collective research and development expertise from Colorado. The convening of government, EDO's, Federal Labs, Universities and the private sector strengthens Colorado assets to help us become a global leader in technology development.” 

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Vicky Lea

Director of Aerospace and Aviation, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation

“The recent CO-LABS tour of CU Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric & Space Physics certainly offered a wonderful atmosphere for learning and networking! CO-LABS tours provide a highly engaging way to learn about the exceptional Federal research assets in our region, and they’re also very effective in connecting us to the outstanding “people assets” within our community - the leaders, scientists and innovators who work at the cutting edge of scientific advancement.”


Erik Mitisek

President, Highwing &

Founder, Denver Startup Week

“CO-LABS is the innovation glue that inspires, connects and convenes science and our lab community in Colorado.  The greatest innovations are created – together – and CO-LABS’ commitment to connect ideas to resources and opportunity – is a blessing to our State and a pillar of our innovation community.  I could not be more thankful for the work they so passionately do.”

CO-LABS Promote Educate Connect log
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