PNNL partners with major research universities in joint institutes that address critical scientific questions and complex technical problems in energy, environment, and national security. The joint institutes bring together complementary expertise and resources of the partner institutions to address significant scientific and engineering challenges
Joint institutes assemble a critical mass of scientists and faculty in relevant fields–including joint appointments, research staff, and students–to enable seamless collaborations across the partner organizations and facilities. In so doing, the institutes help educate and train the next generation of scientists and engineers. Depending on the area of focus, a joint institute can also create and support an ecosystem for new technology, tools, and knowledge with PNNL, university, and industry stakeholders.
PNNL and Washington State University (WSU)
PNNL and WSU have a long history of collaboration that has yielded high-impact research, educational and mentorship opportunities, postdoctoral fellowships, and permanent employment opportunities. More than 800 WSU alumni work as PNNL interns, postdoctoral fellows, scientists, engineers, and other professionals.
In 2018, WSU and PNNL created three new joint institutes:
- The WSU-PNNL Nuclear Science Institute aims to understand and control how materials evolve in radiation environments in order to prevent the use of illicit nuclear materials, resolve issues in nuclear waste management, and advance next-generation nuclear energy.
- The WSU-PNNL Advanced Grid Institute will develop and implement a simulation platform and data framework to enable advanced controls and operations for complex power grids of the future.
- The WSU-PNNL Bioproducts Institute will research ways to transform engineered plants and industrial, agricultural, and municipal wastes into valuable materials and chemicals. It will also cultivate the next generation of bioproducts scientists.
PNNL and the University of Washington (UW)
In 2018, PNNL and UW launched the Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry, and Technology—also known as NW Impact. The joint research endeavor will explore advancements in materials that transform energy, telecommunications, medicine, information technology, and other fields.
Jointly established by PNNL and UW in 2013, the Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing (NIAC) focuses on research and education to enable the next generation of scalable computing platforms. Research conducted in this facility at the UW campus investigates advanced hardware and software systems at the intersection of high-performance computing, big data analytics, and machine learning.
PNNL and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)
PNNL and OHSU launched the Precision Medicine Innovation Co-Laboratory in February 2018. Harnessing PNNL’s advanced 'omics' tools to observe and measure cellular functions and OHSU’s biomedical research and clinical expertise, PMedIC will provide scientific insights that lead to improved patient outcomes through tailored therapies that take into account individual patients’ genetics, environments, and lifestyles.
PNNL and the University of Maryland (UMD)
The Joint Global Change Research Institute is a world leader in integrated assessment—a method of understanding complex linkages between human and natural systems—and creating simulation tools to assess the reciprocal effects of the environment and the economy. Joint Global Change Research Institute researchers play leading roles in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment and serve on state and federal government energy and environmental advisory panels.