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Federal Laboratories Pump Billions into Colorado’s Economy

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Even during tough economic times Colorado’s economy benefited last year because of federal research labs in the state.

Colorado is home to 24 federal labs ranging from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder. According to a new study by a consortium of universities, federal laboratories and local governments these facilities pumped $1.5 billion into the state economy in 2010.

“Some of the benefits associated with that are a cluster effect of other companies either spinning out of the technology created at these institutions or companies that want to locate near these institutions,” says study coordinator Brian Lewandowski.

Boulder County is the largest benefactor of federal lab money with almost $463.8 million added to its economy last year. Jefferson County received $413.2 million. Larimer County was a distant third with $99.5 million.

The Impact of Federal Research Laboratories in Colorado, 2009-2010 study says the research facilities combined resulted in more than 16,000 direct and indirect jobs last year.

Email: brian.larson@kunc.org