CO-LABS Announces Winners of 2017 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research

Ninth Annual Event Honors Colorado’s Top Scientists and Engineers for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society

CO-LABS has announced the four winners of the 2016 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research. Now in its 9th 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 federally-funded research labs and institutions.

​“The projects in this year’s CO-LABS High-Impact Awards spotlight what makes Colorado a leader in innovation It’s terrific to see research advance its partnerships with the private sector. The range of crucial and profound discoveries coming from these labs are a national asset,” said Governor John Hickenlooper.  “I congratulate the scientific teams for their groundbreaking work and am excited to see the mark they will leave on our state and society as a whole.”

The winners will be formally recognized and celebrated Thursday, October 5, 2016 from 5:30pm-9:00pm at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard in Denver, Colorado. See more details on each project and REGISTER today.

2017 WINNERS: 

  • JILA and Dr. Tom Perkins’ New twists in the molecules of life
  • NIST  – Seeing More with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
  • NOAA/CU-Boulder/UCAR –  GPS Reflections: Innovative Techniques
  • CIRA – GOES-16 the New Generation of Geostationary Weather Satellite

Also for 2017 there are three Honorable Mentions:

  • USDA ARS – Sugar Beet research with High Impact in Colorado, the USA and the World
  • CIRES – Snow Research Improves Avalanche Safety, Water Resource Management
  • NOAA ESRL– Science on a Sphere and SOS Explorer visualization systems

See the full research and project details for each at

“We are thrilled and truly honored to be recognized with the Governor’s Award for High Impact Research.  The vision of Drs. Keller, Geiss and Rice, to envision new and innovative ways to use a scanning electron microscope, coupled with their hard work at developing and validating the techniques, led to this impactful achievement, which has already resulted in broad scientific accomplishment and commercial success, said Dr. Jim Feteke, Chief of the Applied Chemicals and Materials Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “Thanks so much to the CO-LABS Board of Directors and the Award Selection Committee for selecting our scientists for this prestigious honor.”

“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.”

Started in 2009 by then-Governor Bill Ritter, this recognition effort starts with CO-LABS convening a special committee of academic researchers, technology transfer experts and science and engineering professionals to review nominations from the more than 30 federally-funded labs and research institutes in Colorado. 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.

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