Bringing Research and Business Together for Colorado

Upcoming Events

2017 Tours: 

      See the list to the right

2016 Tours: 
     Tuesday, March 15, 2016 
     Monday, March 28, 2016  (special event with Rep. Jared Polis, limited space)
     Thursday, April 28, 2016
     Tuesday, May 10, 2016 
CO-LABS tour of NCAR Mesa Lab 
      Wednesday, June 29, 2026
CO-LABS tour of CIRA
      Thursday, Sept. 1 216
      Thursday October 6, 2016
CO-LABS Tour of USDA National Wildlife Research Center
       Thursday, October 27, 2016 

Coming soon:  USGS, NEON, USTPO lab tours


Upcoming CO-LABS Tours

2017 Lab & Research Facility Tours

As part of our mission supporting the scientific research community in Colorado, we have arranged several insider’s tours of research facilities during 2017. Leaders from our network of scientific, business, political and academic backgrounds will be gathering, please join us!

Click: What People Are Saying About Our Tours

Space is often limited due to the protocols of various labs,
please RSVP early to
2017 Tours Are Complete:
Check Back Soon for our 2018 Schedule 

Previous 2017 Tours: 

National Ice Core Laboratory
Federal Center, Denver, CO
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
3:00 - 5:00 pm with social hour to follow

The U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) facility for storing, curating, and studying meteoric ice cores recovered from the glaciated regions of the world. NICL provides scientists with the capability to conduct examinations and measurements on ice cores, and it preserves the integrity of these ice cores in a long-term repository for future investigations. Over 8000 samples from around the globe attract world-class scientists and researchers; we’ll also visit the adjacent Core Research Center.



National Ecological Observatory Network

National Ecological Observatory Network
1685 38th Street, #100, Boulder, CO
Thursday, November 2, 2017
3:00 - 5:00 pm plus social hour

NEON is a continental-scale ecological observation facility, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and operated by Battelle, that gathers and synthesizes data on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources and biodiversity.

The NEON observatory is designed to collect high-quality, standardized data from 81 field sites (47 terrestrial and 34 aquatic) across the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico). Data collection methods are standardized across sites and include in situ instrument measurements, field sampling and airborne remote sensing. Field sites are strategically selected to represent different regions of vegetation, landforms, climate, and ecosystem performance. NEON data and resources are freely available to enable users to tackle scientific questions at scales not accessible to previous generations of ecologists.



US Patent and Trade Office


United States Patent & Trade Office
1961 Stout St, Denver, CO
Thursday, October 26, 2017
3:00 - 4:30 pm w/social hour to follow
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the legislative branch "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."  The office provides outreach services for inventors, entrepreneurs, startups, and researchers - The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. The continued demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs. The USPTO is at the cutting edge of the nation's technological progress and achievement.



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Science On a Sphere® (SOS)

2017 Governor's Awards  - Honorable Mention

325 Broadway, Boulder 
Thursday, October 12, 2017
10:00 - 11:30 am 

Science On a Sphere® (SOS) is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed Science On a Sphere® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain what are sometimes complex environmental processes, in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.

Science On a Sphere® extends NOAA's educational program goals, which are designed to increase public understanding of the environment. Using NOAA's collective experience and knowledge of the Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere, NOAA uses Science On a Sphere® as an instrument to enhance informal educational programs in science centers, universities, and museums across the country. Science On a Sphere® is available to any institution and is currently in operation at a number of facilities in the US.


Pena Station NEXT Panasonic   

Pena Station NEXT drawing

 Peña Boulevard, Denver, CO
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 "SOLD OUT"
10:30 am - 12:00 noon
Peña Station NEXT is a planned 382-acre, transit-oriented smart city development that will also serve as a living lab and proving ground for smart and sustainable technology innovation and infrastructure. Unlike net-zero energy buildings and districts, which typically produce enough on-site renewable energy to fully offset their electricity consumption annually, Peña Station NEXT’s carbon-neutral initiative will seek to go further, by leveraging a to-be-determined suite of on-site renewable energy generation, energy storage, demand flexibility, and potentially carbon sequestration and/or carbon credits, to fully offset the district’s climate impact due to electricity generation and consumption. 
Strategically located adjacent to Denver International Airport, Peña Station Next has been designed with an emphasis on energy-efficient offices, hotels, retail, multi-family, entertainment, and wellness facilities. This master-planned, mixed-use development is bordered on the west by permanent open space and is inspired by the demands of what’s next: a self-sufficient community that embraces smart technology, community, clean energy, and mobility. 
Infectious Disease Research Center   BioMARC
Infectious Diseases Research Center & BioMARC
3185 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, CO 
Thursday, September 21, 2017
3:00 - 4:30 pm w/social hour to follow 
The Infectious Disease Research Center at Colorado State University provides a safe, secure, state of art facility for university investigators, government scientists and industry representatives to collaboratively research the basic biology, biochemistry, molecular biology and epidemiology of bacteria and viruses that cause human and animal diseases. The Center provides the highest quality research environment for developing new scientific discoveries, vaccines, methods of diagnosis, and therapeutic agents for infectious agents. Colorado State University is among the world’s leaders in researching West Nile Virus, drug-resistant Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Hantavirus, Plague, Tularemia and other diseases.
BioMARC has extensive expertise in developing and optimizing product manufacturing processes and related tests for therapeutic, vaccines, and diagnostic products. BioMARC is a nonprofit CMO owned and operated by CSU, and was created to translate and produce biopharmaceutical products for non-clinical, clinical, and commercial use under Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) and BSL-2 containment (including spore former containment) and Select Agent (SA) biosecurity conditions. 

NCAR Research Aviation Facility   NCAR Gulfstream V

National Center for Atmospheric Research  - Aviation Facility
10802 Airport Ct, Broomfield, CO
May 19, 2017 - "SOLD OUT" - no space left!
3:00 - 4:30 pm w/social hour to follow
2nd tour: June 14, 2017 - "SOLD OUT" - no space left 
3:00 - 4:30 pm w/social hour to follow
From the airport in Broomfield, this unique program that makes aircraft available for research projects across the globe has been has been in operation since 1964. NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory maintains aircraft that serves the National Science Foundation's  geosciences community by providing research platforms and expertise in airborne installations and measurement techniques.  We'll get up close with High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) GS V aircraft and the Hercules C-130.

The HIAPER is a cutting-edge observational platform that meets the scientific needs of researchers who study many different aspects of the earth's environment, such as atmospheric Chemistry and Climate, Chemical Cycles, Clouds and Aerosols, Solar and Terrestrial Radiative Fluxes, Upper Troposphere Lower Stratosphere Processes, Mountain Waves and Turbulence, Air Quality, and Mesoscale Weather. The HIAPER, is a Gulfstream V business jet that has been highly modified for research has unique capabilities that set it apart from other research aircraft. It can reach 51,000 feet, enabling scientists to collect data at the tops of storms and the lower edge of the stratosphere. With a range of about 7,000 miles (11,265 kilometers), it can track atmospheric particles across the oceans or reach the South Pole from bases in South America or New Zealand.

The C-130 is a versatile aircraft that carries a wide variety of scientific payloads. The C-130 has a 10-hour flight endurance, a 2,900 nautical mile range at up to 27,000 ft, and a payload capacity of up to 13,000 lbs. In addition to standard thermodynamic, microphysics and radiation sensors, the C-130 has a roomy fuselage payload area (414 ft2) and many versatile inlets and optical ports. The aircraft carries instruments and sensors in pods and pylons on both wings. The C-130 can carry advanced Earth Observing Laboratory and community instrumentation.

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
1234 Innovation Dr, Boulder, CO
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - "SOLD OUT" - no space left
3:00 - 4:30 pm w/social hour to follow at Twisted Pine Brewery
The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) began in 1948, a decade before NASA.  We are the world’s only research institute to have sent instruments to all eight planets, the sun, various moons and Pluto.

LASP combines all aspects of space exploration through our expertise in science, engineering, mission operations, and scientific data analysis. As part of CU, LASP also works to educate and train the next generation of space scientists, engineers and mission operators by integrating undergraduate and graduate students into working teams. Our students take their unique experiences with them into government or industry, or remain in academia to continue the cycle of exploration.


The Energy Institute at Colorado State University

430 N College Ave., Ft. Collins
Monday, April 24, 2017
3:00 – 6:30 pm w/social hour

Come hear the latest innovations and tour the nationally-recognized Energy Institute at the Powerhouse Energy Campus, named by The University Economic Development Association as a top academic laboratory and a showcase of clean energy research and technology. The Institute focuses its work in five different areas: access to energy, energy systems and devices, energy and water, energy policy and human behavior, and environmental impacts. Located in the LEED Platinum-certified Powerhouse (which we will tour) we will learn about their multiple research centers such as the Center for the New Energy Economy, Institute for the Built Environment, Sustainable Biofuels Development Center, Center for Laser Sensing and Diagnostics and many more.

PLUS: we will highlight the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, a research consortium of four research institutions: Colorado School of Mines (CSM); Colorado State University (CSU); National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) & University of Colorado Boulder (CU).


6350 Nautilus Drive, Boulder
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
3:00 – 7:00 pm w/social hour

UNAVCO’s scientists perform cutting-edge research in the geosciences and space sciences that focuses on the structure and dynamics of the crust, hydrosphere, cryosphere, oceans, and the atmosphere. On a global scale, their efforts support defining Earth’s shape, gravity and rotation and understanding the global influences of plate tectonics.  UNAVCO’s collective precision and nearly ubiquitous, constant analysis of the earth helps with preparedness, forecast, response and mitigation of earthquakes, volcanic unrest, landslides, wildfires, flooding, severe weather, hurricanes, tsunamis and space weather. UNAVCO’s GPS stations provide 1 to 2 centimeter real-time positions for survey-grade GPS work. DID YOU KNOW: About 50% of the users of UNAVCO’s real-time GPS data are from the private sector. Come look behind the scenes of this mighty global effort, located conveniently across from Avery Brewery, where we will have a subsequent tour and social hour.


Xcel Energy Trading Floor
1800 Larimer St. Denver
Monday, April 10, 2017
1:30 – 2:30 pm

From the 10th-floor trading desks at its Colorado headquarters in downtown Denver, Xcel trades in power, as well as renewable-energy credits, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using computer models based on wind prediction research by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, traders figure out how much electricity customers are going to use the next day, where they can get it most cheaply via Xcel’s wind turbine portfolio. Come see the state-of-the-art in real-time weather prediction and renewables integration at utility scale. Prepare to be astounded.



The U.S. Department of Agriculture
National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation

1111 S Mason St, Fort Collins
April 12, 2017
3:00 – 6:00 pm w/social hour

The mission of the Plant and Animal Genetic Resources Preservation Unit is to acquire, preserve, and evaluate genetic resources from plants, animals, microbes, aquatic organisms and insects; coordinate their availability, conservation, and utilization; and to provide optimum access to desirable genes and gene complexes. The informal description: this is the Fort Knox of seeds, designed to safeguard the American food supply from the numerous threats posed by a rapidly changing planet.


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s
Energy Systems Integration Facility

15013 Denver W Pkwy, Golden
Thursday, March 9, 2017
8:00 – 10:00 am

The Energy Systems Integration Facility houses an unparalleled collection of state-of-the-art capabilities that supports the development, evaluation, and demonstration of innovative clean energy technologies. Specialty research capabilities include: Systems integration; Prototype and component development; Manufacturing and material diagnostics & High-performance computing and analytics. You have to see this to believe it - the science in the ESIF is astounding.


JILA - The Joint Institute of CU-Boulder and
the National Institute of Standards and Technology

440 UCB, CU-Boulder campus
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
2:15 – 6:00 pm w/social hour

JILA scientists conduct innovative research in quantum information with a goal of better understanding the tiny, cold world where the laws of quantum mechanics apply. In quantum simulation, JILA scientists have built two quantum simulators that probe the quantum mechanical behavior of cool, lattice-confined Sr atoms and ultracold KRb molecules. Last October CO-LABS recognized JILA with the Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research for their quantum machines work – come see just how the foundations of the known physical universe are researched and applied to work in atomic, molecular, and optical physics, nanoscience, and precision measurement.

2016 Tours:


CO-LABS Membership Tour 

USDA National Wildlife Research Center

Thursday, October 27, 2016

3:00 - 5:00 PM & offsite social hour

The USDA's National Wildlfe Research Center website

The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) is a major facility within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS) program.

The National Wildlife Research Center is the federal institution devoted to resolving problems caused by the interaction of wild animals and society. The Center applies scientific expertise to the development of practical methods to resolve these problems and to maintain the quality of the environments shared with wildlife. NWRC is headquartered on the Foothills Research Campus of Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO. Approximately two-thirds of NWRC's 150-person staff is located in Fort Collins; the remainder of the highly specialized staff are located throughout the United States, and address regional wildlife damage management issues. Further, NWRC routinely conducts international consultancies in this specialized area. 


The National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Laboratory

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

3:00 - 6:30pm 

    NCAR’s research produces impressive advances in our understanding of fundamental atmospheric processes and how the atmosphere interacts with and is influenced by other components of the Earth and Sun system. NCAR incorporates advanced observing facilities for field studies, powerful supercomputing capabilities, valuable research data sets that describe the Earth and the Sun, and widely used state-of-the-science community models that are providing improved capabilities for predictions of weather (including catastrophic events), air quality, hydrology, climate variability and change, and space weather. In 2014 NCAR won the Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research presented by CO-LABS for their Wind and Solar Power Forecasting System.

Guests at our June 29, 2016 visit to NCAR's Mesa Lab in the Damon Room

We’ll hear from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Interim President Michael Thompson about the strategic plans for NCAR, tour labs in small groups, see demonstrations of their Visualization Lab and be among the first to see their new weather and climate science exhibit. We’ll have time to tour the exhibit and enjoy a social hour in the beautiful Damon Room facing the Flatirons.

A highlight will be the new multimedia displays, believed to be the region’s largest permanent exhibit dedicated to climate change. The exhibit will highlight the workings of our climate system, how scientists study it, and the potential impacts of warming temperatures and altered precipitation patterns on society and the environment. The exhibit will be divided into five sections, each designed with input from NCAR scientists. The sections provide an overview of our climate system, the influence of greenhouse gases, the techniques that scientists use to study climate, the impacts of climate change on society and ecosystems, and strategies for reducing our carbon footprint and adapting to a changing climate.

Tour of NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

7:30 - 9:30 am 

The Energy Systems Integration Facility houses an unparalleled collection of state-of-the-art capabilities that supports the development, evaluation, and demonstration of innovative clean energy technologies. Specialty research capabilities include: Systems integration; Prototype and component development; Manufacturing and material diagnostics & High-performance computing and analytics. You have to see this to beileve it - the science in the ESIF is astounding. 

Guests at the NREL ESIF tour May 10, 2016: 

CO-LABS tour of NREL ESIF May 10, 2016



Tour of UNAVCO

Thursday, April 28, 2016

3:00 - 4:30 pm  

"Just Exactly Where Am I?"
The best way to answer that question is with Geodesy –
the science of the shape, size, gravity, motion and related nuances of the earth. Join CO-LABS for an insider's visit to UNAVCO, a non-profit university-governed consortium of more than 200 universities, ​facilitating and supporting scientists and researchers using geodesy technologies.
We’ll hear from UNAVCO’s Director Meghan Miller plus other scientists whose cutting edge research in the geosciences and space sciences focus on the structure and dynamics of the crust, hydrosphere, cryosphere, oceans, and the atmosphere.
On a global scale, their efforts support defining Earth’s shape, gravity and rotation and understanding the global influences of plate tectonics.
Some of the guests at our April 28 tour of UNAVCO: 
CO-LABS tour of UNAVCO 4.28.16 group A

UNAVCO’s collective precision and nearly ubiquitous, constant analysis of the earth helps with preparedness, forecast, response and mitigation of earthquakes, volcanic unrest, landslides, wildfires, flooding, severe weather, hurricanes, tsunamis and space weather. UNAVCO’s GPS stations provide 1 to 2 centimeter real-time positions for survey-grade GPS work. About 50% of the users of UNAVCO’s real-time GPS data are from the private sector. UNAVCO maintains an extensive and freely accessible archive of data, data products, and data tools. We provide technology development, technical support, geophysical training, workforce development, student internships and educational materials. See more.

Join us for a tour and catered Social Hour immediately afterwards,
right across the street at the new Avery Brewery
5:00 – 7:00pm-ish
4910 Nautilus Ct, Boulder MAP


Tour of the Laboratory for

Atmospheric and Space Physics

Tuesday March 15, 2016

3:00 - 4:30 PM

Guests at the March 15 tour of LASP: 


Did you know there is only one research research institute in the world to have sent instruments to all eight planets and Pluto? It's located on CU-Boulder campus: the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. LASP projects range from investigating the atmosphere of Mars, the impacts of solar storms on satellites and managing instruments on space probes orbiting the sun to the New Horizons spacecraft investigating Pluto and building tiny cube satellites the size of a loaf of bread.

Join CO-LABS for an insider's tour of LASP with comments by lab Director Dan Baker. Dan is a CU-Boulder Distinguished Professor, Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and 2015 awardee of the prestigious Shen Kuo Award from the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy.

We will view models of different spacecraft and satellites, a class-10,000 clean room, a machine shop for building instruments, and the Mission Operations Center from which LASP scientists and students operate satellites.

Leaders from our network of scientific, business, political and academic backgrounds will be gathering, please join us!

PLUS: Following the LASP tour, you can drive over to the Fiske Planetarium - at 5:30pm Planetarium Director Doug Duncan will provide details on their recent NASA grant and how Fiske is used in teaching and community outreach. CU-Boulder assistant professor David Brain and aerospace students will talk about CU's MAVEN mission to Mars' atmosphere, recent findings and why NASA is extending their mission. As you may know, the MAVEN mission was recognized in October by CO-LABS with the Governor's Award for High Impact Research. Details.

View a short overview video of LASP and the spotlight video on the MAVEN project from the October 8, 2015 Governor's Awards event: