When you use a copier, hit a golf ball, or listen to a CD, you're using technologies developed by Battelle Memorial Institute. The not-for-profit is one of the world's largest research enterprises, with more than 22,000 scientists, engineers, and staff serving corporate and government clients. Research areas include national security, energy, and health and life sciences. Battelle owns 130 locations in the US, Asia, and Europe and manages four Department of Energy-sponsored labs: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The institute was established by the family of steel industry pioneer Gordon Battelle in 1929.
While contract research and development remains the core activity of the company, Battelle is becoming more and more involved in managing operations for about a half-dozen laboratories for the government. Battelle operates Idaho National Laboratory through Battelle Energy Alliance, a partnership formed with BWX Technologies, Washington Group International, Electric Power Research Institute, and a consortium of universities including MIT, Ohio State, and the University of Idaho. Battelle also manages the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the National Nuclear Laboratory UK, the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Through its Battelle Ventures subsidiary, the company also serves as a nesting ground for new businesses formed to commercialize discoveries and technologies Battelle owns or to which it has rights.
Originally formed to promote metallurgy and related industries, the institute -- which conducts nearly $6 billion in research and development each year -- has diversified into researching other areas such as agriculture, energy, software, and medicine. Among other notable milestones, Battelle's research was instrumental in developing the photocopy machine, optical digital recording (used with compact discs), and bar codes.
Battelle is led by CEO and president Jeffrey Wadsworth, a former metallurgist who started at Battelle in 2002 and served as director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Wadsworth took over as CEO in 2009, replacing Carl Kohrt, who retired. – less