Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Transforming the world through courageous discovery and innovation.

Mission: Transform the world through courageous discovery and innovation. 

Areas of Research: Strengthen U.S. scientific foundations for innovation; increase U.S. energy capacity; reduce dependence on imported oil; prevent and counter terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; reduce the environmental effects of human activities; and create sustainable systems.


Location: Richland, Washington

Owned By: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

Managed By: Battelle


Commercial Innovations

Smart Charger Controller: Efficiently Recharging Electric Vehicles

Discovery: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity funded research into an algorithm-based, low-range wireless technology to communicate with the power grid and determine the best and cheapest time to recharge electric vehicles.

Development: Further development, prototyping and testing proved the concept and helped attain compliance certifications in anticipation of more widespread use of electric vehicles.

Deployment: ZAP licensed the technology for use in its electric vehicle charging stations. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory provided additional technical expertise through its Technology Assistance Program.

Millimeter Wave Technology: Protecting Travelers from Terrorism

Discovery: The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) funded millimeter wave research, leveraging Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s national security capabilities in radar imaging.

Development: Battelle licensed and introduced the SafeView Scout system for security applications. SafeView, partly financed by Battelle Ventures, was established as an independent company and later was acquired by L-3 Communications.

Deployment: L-3 Communications deployed the technology worldwide as a more effective, safer and less intrusive alternative to metal detectors, pat down searches, X-rays and other means used to ensure security.

Visual Analytics for Bulk Text Data: Transforming Raw Data into High-Value Information

Discovery: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory used algorithms to visualize and cluster text. Early software versions provided a two-dimensional “Galaxy View” of “theme strength” in large, unstructured data sets.

Development: The Department of Energy (DOE) funded early-stage development and prototyping of the technology, named INSPIRE. The Department of Defense (DOD) and other intelligence community entities sponsored major advances and related multimedia visualization platforms such as Starlight.

Deployment: Commercial and academic users licensed INSPIRE. Future Point Systems, a private firm serving industry and government, licensed Starlight. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory invested in new features, capabilities and applications to biology, cyber security and image analysis.

PNNL: Transforming the World Through Courageous Discovery and Innovation

Mike Kluse speaks to PNNL's impact on the challenges facing our nation.