Posts tagged National Renewable Energy Laboratory
A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has been awarded $9.2 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Energy to research modifying E. coli to produce biofuels such as gasoline.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to take what we have worked on for the past decade to the next level,” said team leader Ryan Gill, a fellow of CU-Boulder’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, or RASEI. “In this project, we will develop technologies that are orders of magnitude beyond where we are currently.”
The team is working with a non-pathogenic strain of E. coli. Among the microbe’s more than 4,000 genes, the team is searching for a small set and how it can be manipulated in a combination of on and off states to change the bacteria’s behavior.
“E. coli is not going to want to make your biofuel at all,” said Gill, who’s also a CU-Boulder associate professor of chemical and biological engineering. “It doesn’t do that naturally. It’s programmed with thousands of genes controlling how it replicates. We’re figuring out what control structure we need to rewire in the bug to make it do what we want, not what it wants.”
Included in the team are Rob Knight, CU-Boulder associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Pin-Ching Maness, principal scientist at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or NREL; and Adam Arkin, physical biosciences director at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The researchers hope to engineer the production of ethylene and isobutanol in the modified E. coli. The two compounds are widely used commodities that can be converted into gasoline among other chemicals.
The greatest challenge is harnessing an efficient and inexpensive process that competes with abundant and low-cost fossil fuels like oil, according to Gill.
“Microorganisms and their genomes are incredibly complex machines,” said Gill. “The first step alone — of pinpointing the part of the E. coli genome that can help us make biofuels or other chemicals on a cost-competitive basis — is a daunting challenge. Then we have to determine if the results we want will take one year or decades, $5 million or $500 million.”
The team will be able to simultaneously identify numerous E. coli genes and the results of turning these genes on or off using advanced technologies. Many of the technologies have been developed by the researchers’ own labs.
The grant is the first of its kind from the DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and was awarded to only seven other research groups including teams led by MIT, Purdue University and the J. Craig Venter Institute.
In 2011, CU’s Technology Transfer Office named Gill an inventor of the year. In 2005, Gill won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award as well as a National Institutes of Health K25 Career Development Award for genomics research and teaching.
The Virginia Patterson Businessperson of the Year The recipient of this award has consistently contributed business expertise and experiences to connect the Boulder business world to city, charitable, or other public-spirited causes and is a leader in making Boulder a better place to do business.
Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for over twenty years. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures, a company that helped launch and operate software companies. Brad is also a co-founder of TechStars.
Brad currently serves on the board of directors of BigDoor Media, Cheezburger Networks, Fitbit, Gnip, MakerBot Oblong, Orbotix, and Standing Cloud for Foundry Group. Previously, Brad served as chief technology officer of AmeriData Technologies. AmeriData acquired Feld Technologies, a firm he founded in 1987 that specialized in custom software applications. Brad had grown Feld Technologies into one of Boston’s leading software consulting firms prior to the acquisition. He also directed the diversification into software consulting at AmeriData, a $1.5 billion publicly-traded company which was acquired by GE Capital in 1995.
In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, co-chair of Startup Colorado, and on the board of Startup Weekend. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes the widely read blogs Feld Thoughts and Ask the VC.
Key Contributor of the Year
This award recognizes an individual who has made a positive impact on the community through leadership and a significant contribution of time, talent and expertise. Bob Noun
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Robert J. Noun formerly directed the government affairs, media relations, communications and community outreach activities for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) located in Golden, CO. He was the chief spokesman for NREL, the nation’s principal research center for renewable fuels and electricity. Mr. Noun has been involved with renewable energy for over 30 years. During his career he has made significant contributions to the advancement of renewable energy technologies.
Noun managed the NREL Wind Energy Research Program. He is the author of 24 technical publications on the subjects of renewable energy law and regulation, wind energy development, and renewable energy in developing countries. From 2010-2012 Noun served as Chair of CO-LABS, the confederation of national labs and research universities in Colorado doing federally sponsored science and technology innovation.
Noun has received numerous awards and recognition, including the 2005 Van Morris Award recognizing his leadership in the growth and development of NREL, the 2002 Pioneer Award for Contributions to the Development of Renewable Energy from the World Renewable Energy Network in London, and the 1996 Gold Medallion Award for the Advancement of Renewable Energy, presented by His Highness, the Emir of Bahrain. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and has been a guest lecturer in the Iowa State University Science and Technology Lecture Series. In 1973 he was awarded the Reginald Hebersmith Fellow in Law from Howard University.
Community Sustainability Leader
This award recognizes an organization that demonstrates success at managing an integrated triple bottom line – economic success, commitment to social equity and concern for environmental footprint.
Boulder Community Hospital
Boulder Community Hospital is a coordinated network of facilities and skilled personnel providing an expansive range of medical services to people and businesses in Boulder and Broomfield Counties.
As a locally owned and operated non-profit hospital system, Boulder Community is dedicated to meeting the constantly evolving health care needs of local citizens. Boulder Community is known across Colorado for its clinical excellence in heart care, neurosurgery, stroke care, orthopedics and cancer care. Some 600 physicians in 54 medical specialties have privileges at BCH.
Best Place to Work
Awarded to a company that demonstrates proficiency in leadership, communication, respect and alignment.
Gnip is a local social media data startup that believes that no single company alone can realize the full potential of social media data. It works to align itself with others to more effectively harness and channel the power of this information. From its corporate values to the accomplishments of its employees, the company embodies the qualities of leadership, communication, respect, and alignment. Well-regarded by their professional colleagues, company executives regularly deliver keynote addresses to national and international audiences, just as Gnip’s software engineers share their knowledge with the local community. Committed to diversity, the company is a member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology’s Entrepreneurial Alliance program, an effort to increase the participation of women in technological innovation. In these ways, Gnip both provides leadership to the industry and shares its collective expertise in the area of social media data.
Gnip is a company built on respect, and all of its corporate policies are aligned with its values. The company is an employer that seeks out the brightest lights in the field and then supports their continued growth. The respect, trust, and support invested by Gnip in its employees, along with its spirit of collaboration and innovation, have earned it this year’s Chamber award for Boulder’s best place to work.
Boulder 2140 Young Business Person of the Year
This award recognizes a member under the age of forty who has an impact on his/her organization, demonstrated significant contribution of time or talent to the Boulder area and shows potential for future leadership.
Intercambio: Uniting Communities
Lee is co-founder of Intercambio and author of “What Every Immigrant Needs to Know“, a publication that is being used by 35,000 people from 350 organizations nationwide. Lee has helped Intercambio spread its model to 12 states, raise $4,000,000, train 3,500 volunteer teachers, and provide English classes to 8,000 immigrant adults since its inception in 2001. Lee’s prior experience includes the development of a volunteer program at a psychiatric treatment center, supervising of an afterschool program, mentoring developmentally challenged individuals and facilitating writing workshops for prison inmates.
Lee also has an impressive collection of interesting outfits, he loves choreographing crazy shows, and since 2008 he has been volunteering twice a week to teach multicultural dance exercise classes to encourage fun and health.
Members of Distinction
John Regur Dutch Creek Financial
John is founder and Principal of Dutch Creek Financial Services, a financial planning and investment advisory practice. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, after serving overseas with the US Army, his career in financial risk management started with the Travelers Insurance Companies. With a subsequent 25 year career with the Marsh McLennan Companies which included several US and international postings, he moved to Boulder, opening Dutch Creek in 2002, the year he joined the Chamber.
CU and NREL get 10 more Toyota
hybrids to plug into smart grid study
Ten plug-in hybrid vehicles, or PHVs, have been added to a University of Colorado Boulder study that has been examining user experiences and system interactions since September 2010 in the local smart-grid environment.
The increase will allow researchers from CU-Boulder’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, or RASEI — a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory — to gather data from a broader base of participants. The loan of Prius cars from Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. will expand the originally supplied fleet to a total of 28.
“RASEI’S expertise in analyzing trends in consumer use of energy gives us an opportunity for research at this critical nexus of the electric utility and transportation industries as they transition to the future,” said Michael Knotek, RASEI director. “We are delighted that this project is valuable to Toyota.”
The Boulder location presents the opportunity for study participants to track their household electricity use through smart-grid technology, and for researchers to monitor the performance of Toyota’s first-generation lithium-ion drive battery at high altitudes, in cold weather and in mountainous terrain.
The cars are circulated in nine-week intervals among randomly selected households. Participants receive a “smart plug” — a device installed in home garages — from Xcel Energy that allows online monitoring of their car’s electricity use and their home’s energy consumption. There also are numerous dashboard displays in the PHVs that show gas mileage when driving in electric mode and hybrid mode.
The PHV demonstration vehicles can be fully charged in approximately three hours using a standard 110-volt electrical outlet and can cruise in electric-only mode for about 14 miles. For longer distances, the PHVs revert to hybrid mode and operate like regular Prius cars.
“One of RASEI’s goals is to establish public-private partnerships that bring together academic, industry and government lab research,” said Knotek. “The PHV study, supported by Toyota with the integral participation of Xcel Energy, is the first of many RASEI projects that reflects this type of comprehensive and valuable collaboration.”
The study’s principal investigator is Barbara Farhar, RASEI’s senior research associate. The co-principal investigator is Dragan Maksimovic, CU-Boulder professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering.
Aug. 5, 2011
The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm University of Colorado Boulder Distinguished Professor Carl Lineberger as a member of the National Science Board. He was nominated for the position by President Barack Obama in April.
The National Science Board’s duties include establishing the policies of the National Science Foundation and serving as an advisory board to the president and Congress on issues involving science and engineering.
Lineberger also is a fellow of JILA, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In addition to Lineberger, the U.S. Senate this week also confirmed Dan Arvizu, chief executive of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. Both of their terms expire in 2016.
“Colorado is home to some of the best and the brightest in the country, supporting and inspiring top-notch scientific work across Colorado and the country,” U.S. Sen. Mark Udall said in a statement. “Carl has contributed decades of pioneering research to the fields of physics and chemistry, and Dan has played a key role in Colorado’s leadership in renewable energy. I am proud these two eminent thinkers have been recognized and entrusted with helping shape the course of science and engineering fields in our country.”
Lineberger is the E.U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at CU-Boulder. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council and the NRC Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space. His graduate students and postdoctoral associates hold major research-related positions throughout the world.
Lineberger has chaired the National Science Foundation Advisory Committees on Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Science and Technology Centers, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, and the NAS/NRC Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Applications. He recently completed service on the National Academy of Sciences Council, the NAS/NRC Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy and the NRC Governing Board.
“It is truly an honor for us when our nation’s leadership taps the knowledge and expertise of CU-Boulder faculty to serve our country and society,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “Distinguished Professor Lineberger is the third faculty member in three years to receive a prestigious White House appointment, which underscores our national reach in scientific research and public policy.”
Last September, CU-Boulder Distinguished Professor and JILA Fellow Carl Wieman was confirmed as associate director for science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and former CU-Boulder Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson in September 2008 was nominated by President George W. Bush and subsequently appointed to serve on the National Science Board.
For more information about the members of the National Science Board visit http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/members/.
Vice President Biden Visits National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Announces First Agreement Under “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator” Challenge
Washington, DC – Today, while visiting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, Vice President Biden announced that a Colorado-based start-up company has signed the first agreement under the Department of Energy’s new “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator” challenge. Based in Boulder, Colorado, U.S. e-Chromic LLC will use electrochromic technology developed by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to create a new thin film window material that reflects sunlight on demand, making windows more energy efficient while reducing cooling costs for consumers.
“Now, more than ever, America’s future competitiveness depends on our ability to innovate and our capacity to live up to our rich history of technological advancement,” said Vice President Biden. “Through this kind of public-private collaboration we are bringing groundbreaking technology out of the lab and into the marketplace and our lives.”
Of the agreement, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “This is a great example of what can happen when we unleash the American innovation machine and allow entrepreneurs to turn a great idea into a business opportunity. By making it easier, faster and cheaper for start-ups to license groundbreaking technologies we can move innovative ideas to the marketplace – creating jobs and growing our economy.”
Following President Obama’s call in the State of the Union for new investments in American innovation, the Department of Energy announced in late March the “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator” challenge as part of the Administration’s Startup America Initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. These initiatives are part of the President’s plan to help the United States win the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our global competition.
The agreement announced today demonstrates how American innovation is growing the economy and keeping America competitive in the 21st century. The electrochromic technology used by U.S. e-Chromic LLC uses an electric field to change the tint of a window, allowing users to control the transparency based on the time of day, temperature, or exposure to sunlight. Today, the current supply of electrochromic windows turn darker in color when activated, consequently absorbing heat. In contrast, the technology being developed by U.S. e-Chromic LLC reflects sunlight, keeping buildings cooler. They can be retrofitted to existing windows, potentially reducing cooling costs by 25 – 30 percent for commercial buildings during air conditioning months.
Beginning May 2nd, entrepreneurs interested in some of the 15,000 patents and patent applications held by the 17 National Laboratories can now obtain a streamlined option agreement through the Department of Energy’s “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator” challenge. The restructured option agreement will give entrepreneurs the opportunity to option groundbreaking technologies developed by the National Laboratories for a $1,000 upfront fee. The portfolio of patents available under this challenge – including biomass, vehicle technology and grid energy storage – can help achieve the Administration’s goal of reducing our oil imports by one-third by 2025. To date, more than 400 companies and entrepreneurs have inquired about the available technologies.
Entrepreneurs interested in participating in the challenge can view the available technologies and the restructured patent agreement on the Department of Energy’s Energy Innovation Portal website.
Unlike Startup Boulder Week, The White house did not attempt to violate our coverage of this real event. A white house lawyer did take our complaints of civil rights violations, how ever and promised to start a federal investigation.
Boulder County, Colo. – The Paradigm Pilot project, a Boulder County Housing & Human Services Housing Development project, has received the Second Place award in the Denver Regional Council of Government’s (DRCOG) 2010 Local Government Awards Program for Collaboration.
The ‘Paradigm Pilot Project: A Blueprint for Change’ follows the design, development and testing of new sustainable building technologies in two affordable housing units of the Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA). The duplex and single-family affordable housing units are located at 900 Avalon in Lafayette, CO.
Boulder County Housing Development partnered with the City of Denver, City of Lafayette, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Boulder County Workforce, Boulder County Transportation Department, and Boulder County Architects in this innovative project. Paradigm Pilot involved the construction of energy efficient affordable housing units partly funded by Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) funds. The renewable energy features include passive solar, systems built (modular) construction, performance building design, and the use of photovoltaic and geothermal loops. The Paradigm Pilot project’s development timeline was less than a year – from comprehensive plan amendment in November 2008 to certificate of occupancy in September 2009.
“Paradigm allowed us to test new sustainable technologies and building construction methods we hope to implement in the 153-unit Josephine Commons project in Lafayette,” said Scott Simkus, BCHA’s Housing Development Manager. “It laid the foundation for economies of scale while implementing renewable energy and advanced building technologies for a mass production environment.”
For more information, please visit http://www.bouldercounty.org/hhs/pilot.htm.