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History of the Governor’s Awards for High Impact Research

Started in 2009, the annual Governor's Awards for High-Impact Research celebrates the brilliant ground-breaking discoveries and innovative research from Colorado’s ecosystem of federally-funded laboratories and institutions. That year, following the creation of CO-LABS in 2007, Governor Bill Ritter suggested hosting a celebratory and spotlighting event; the various labs were prompted to submit nominations and a Selection Committee was convened of professional researchers, technologists, academics and economic development experts to identify remarkable research having “high impact” on society. 


Each year at this event, CO-LABS spotlights the men and women creating our future through brilliant technological and engineering discoveries in aerospace, energy, agriculture, public health, weather prediction, wildlife ecology, communication, earth science and dozens of other fields of research right here in our communities. Over the years Governors Ritter and Hickenlooper have presented winners with these awards and comments recognizing their impact on our country's leadership in science.

In 2018 we gathered 250 scientific, economic development, technology and civic leaders at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for an evening of inspiring recognition. See video spotlights from 2018.

Special guests in 2018 included Robert R. Redfield, MD, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Dr. Walter Copan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology & Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Dr. Martin Keller, Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) & President of the Alliance for Sustainable Energy & Dr. Waleed Abdalati, Executive Director, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Plus Keynote Speaker Alice Jackson, President of Xcel Energy - Colorado.

See the full 2018 Governor's Awards event webpage with further details. 

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