Inside a national laboratory
In just over a year working at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, I often wonder how a place like this exists without being swarmed by industry giants looking for that next advancement that will surely delight their stakeholders and investors alike.
PNNL can fill the gap for companies who have problems that cannot be solved with in-house R&D, either because they do not have in-house capabilities or because they need a solution to a problem faster than they can develop it with available resources. But why would a client choose one research organization over another? It boils down to the kind of expertise they seek and how the solution will add bottom-line value.
The average person isn't concerned with what goes into solving problems as long as the solutions work. But be assured that PNNL has its fingerprint on many modern innovations used everyday. Our discoveries combine best-in-class staff studied in biology, chemistry, physicals, life sciences, geology, computational sciences, and more. The collective energy here is phenomenal; if need be, a biologist can walk down the hall and consult with a chemical engineer on a project. With more than 20 percent of our staff holding Ph.D.s, that's a lot of collaborative brain power at work—and a common occurrence.
But all of that knowledge paired with cutting edge instruments and facilities alone cannot help industry find the solutions that will keep their companies—and our nation—competitive in the world economy. DOE and Battelle know that, which is why PNNL is equipped to provide a variety of partnering options for industry so this government resource may be leveraged for a greater good. It is my hope that this Breakthroughs issue answers some of the more common questions about the Laboratory so that our value proposition to industry is much more obvious than before you started reading. – LT
Writers for this edition: Sue Chin, Jonni Dron, Sallie Ortiz, Rosalind Schrempf, Virginia Sliman, Andrea McMakin, Julie Fisher, and Lisa Teske.
Graphic Design: Tyler Borders, Chris DeGraaf, Nathan Johnson, Shannon Neely, Mike Perkins, and Justin Yonk.