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NIST and University of Colorado Establish Partnership

BOULDER, COLO.--The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Colorado (CU) today created a partnership to enhance scientific, technical and engineering competence at the two institutions.

By signing a Memorandum of Understanding, NIST Acting Director Hratch Semerjian and CU President Elizabeth Hoffman agreed to foster and expand cooperative research and education efforts between NIST and CU. Zelda Chapman Bailey, NIST Boulder Laboratories Director, NIST Boulder Division Chiefs, and CU representatives attended the signing ceremony in Hoffman's office.

"Through this agreement, we will open new doors of research and move into the future together. Our goal is to strengthen both organizations so we can better promote innovation and address national needs," said Semerjian. NIST and CU have an extensive history of collaboration in research consortia and programs extending over several decades. The existence of CU in the community was one of the critical factors in the decision to locate the Commerce labs in Boulder over 50 years ago. The formal partnerships reach back more than 40 years with the formation of JILA, the CU-NIST research institute. JILA faculty includes two Nobel laureates and two John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellows. Creative collaborations among JILA Fellows and their groups play a key role in generating the pioneering research JILA is known for around the world.

Today's agreement covers the faculty, staff and facilities at NIST's Boulder and Gaithersburg, Md., sites and the entire CU system: CU-Boulder, CU-Denver and Health Sciences Center, and CU-Colorado Springs. "I am extremely proud of the history of collaboration between CU and NIST. This MOU will provide more opportunities for research partnerships for the CU system that will help further discoveries to address society's most pressing challenges," said Hoffman.

Future collaborations will include focus on expanding collaborative research in science and engineering and on training of future generations of scientists and engineers. The MOU will provide greater opportunities for sharing staff, facilities and equipment. Opportunities and protocols will be developed for joint appointments to NIST and CU, designed to attract distinguished national and international scientists and engineers to visiting positions at both institutions, further enhancing their research.

The University of Colorado is a three-campus system with more than 52,000 students. It has campuses in Boulder and Colorado Springs, in addition to the recently consolidated Denver and Health Sciences Center campus located in downtown Denver and at Fitzsimmons in Aurora.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurement, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.

Additional Contact: Mike Hess, University of Colorado, (303) 492-3019

Released March 31, 2005, Updated January 23, 2023