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Battelle will invest $24 million in effort to grow high-tech jobs

July 19, 1996 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – Battelle will invest $24 million over the next five years in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Mid-Columbia region to create technology-based jobs and businesses in the region. The amount represents a significant increase over the previous five years and continues Battelle's long tradition of investing in the communities it operates in.

The announcement was made today by a group of Battelle and Department of Energy officials in Richland. Battelle and DOE say the financial commitment will play a big part in softening the impacts of federal funding reductions and will help the Tri-Cities move to a more diversified economy.

According to Battelle President and CEO Douglas Olesen, some of the $24 million will be used to add new facilities and equipment and enhance the work environment at the national laboratory, which Battelle has operated for DOE since the lab's inception in 1965. Other funds will be used to develop new research opportunities with private industry and international clients.

Outside the laboratory, money will be used to create new businesses, provide technical assistance to existing businesses in the region and attract new firms through joint ventures and partnerships. It also will be used to expand support for science and engineering initiatives at regional education institutions.

"With the Department of Energy's support, Battelle will help the Tri-Cities and Mid-Columbia create a diversified economy that is technology-based and growth-oriented," said Olesen. "This type of economy can produce wealth, high-value jobs and a better quality of life well into the next century."

"The key to developing a technology-based economy in the Tri-Cities is a strong national laboratory," added William Madia, Pacific Northwest director. "Not only must we grow jobs within the community, but the laboratory also must grow if this region is to thrive economically. As a result, Battelle and DOE are committed to investing in the lab's staff, facilities and equipment to ensure that we remain at the leading edge of technology."

Olesen and Madia say Battelle will help form, on average, 10 new businesses and provide technical assistance to 50 existing businesses each year for the next five years.

As part of the community economic development effort, Battelle will help bring additional venture capital funding to the region for new businesses that are long on good ideas but short on cash. The funding can be leveraged to gain access to government matching fund programs.

Battelle also will make investments in several community enrichment organizations including local health, human services, arts and cultural groups. And Battelle will expand its support for mathematics and science education programs, as well as community college and university partnerships.

Olesen said the Battelle investment continues a long Battelle tradition of investing in the Mid-Columbia region.

"We've been an active corporate citizen ever since we arrived here more than 30 years ago," he said. "While the area's economic fortunes rose and fell, our commitment to investing in the community has been steady and significant. A high quality of life goes hand-in-hand with attracting and retaining quality workers and their families."

Tags: Energy, Environment, Operations, Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Economic Development, Facilities

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 about $950 million. 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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