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Community thrives as PNNL continues to grow

March 01, 2004 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – My first year as Pacific Northwest National Laboratory director has been an exciting and noteworthy one. On the heels of Battelle's new contract with the Department of Energy to operate PNNL into fall 2007, Battelle earned DOE's highest possible rating for managing PNNL in fiscal 2003, an "Outstanding." Our sixth Outstanding in as many years, coupled with the new contract, has signaled a strong vote of confidence in our ability to remain at the forefront of delivering breakthrough science and technology in the service of our nation.

We are proud of accomplishments and the many other contributions that have made such a great community impact over the past 39 years. These can be measured in the tens of millions of dollars in corporate giving alone, including a recent $1 million pledge to the CREHST for a visitor's center. In addition, Battelle has contributed $100 million of its own funds to nurture PNNL's growth. What may count even more are the intangibles, the many thousands of hours our employees have volunteered to enrich the civic, cultural, educational, ecological, and recreational life of this community.

Battelle plans to leverage that human and financial capital by continuing to be an exemplary and active neighbor. Battelle has never been more devoted to adding value to the community. Through PNNL and other affiliated groups such as Battelle Ventures, a $150 million venture capital fund committed to financing start-up companies, that value is sure to rise.

In the near term, our most important task will be to develop PNNL's main Richland site and surrounding property into something we are calling the Research Campus of the Future. That will entail moving our current operations from the 300 Area, the southernmost end of Hanford, to our research campus, all within the city limits of Richland. This will be a big move-a quarter of our 3,800 employees work in 700,000 square feet of offices and labs in the 300 Area-and will take several years and further investment, estimated at $250 million.

Bringing everyone together on the main campus is only one step. To thrive, we must grow. A key element in our growth plan is the Whole Proteome Analysis facility, an extension of the remarkable work PNNL has been doing lately in support of the DOE's Biological and Environmental Research program. We are now at work to make our case to DOE to be its site of choice for the Whole Proteome Analysis facility. That, and the one-of-its-kind W.R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, will secure PNNL's future as the preeminent chemistry-based life sciences institution in DOE's national lab system.

We are committed to keeping the community fully apprised of our development plans. And we are equally committed to raising the profile of PNNL and the community in the state and the region, not only by doing a better job of communicating what we do here, but also by making ourselves an even more valuable resource.

A key part of our regional strategy is to work with like-minded institutions on collaborative research projects. In Seattle, those partners include the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Institute for Systems Biology, and the University of Washington. Nearer to home, we have a close alliance with Washington State University. Relationships with virtually every Washington and Oregon university that shares our goals reinforce our commitments to making this region an international leader in science and technology.

As we grow and continue to add value to our community and region, we must be ever mindful of the source of PNNL's value: our ability to create science and technology breakthroughs. Our staff members thrived in this community, and the community along with them. We intend to keep this wonderful example of symbiosis going for decades to come.

Tags: Energy, Fundamental Science, Operations, Biology, Cancer Research

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of more than $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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