Department of Energy

75 Breakthroughs by America's National Laboratories

February 15, 2018

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The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Laboratories are among the most innovative places on the planet.

Forged in the fires of World War II, they have become wellsprings of discovery and innovation that have made – and continue to make – a profound and positive impact on the lives of millions. Partnering with industry and academia, the National Laboratories continue to drive fundamental research, innovation and commercialization, advancing U.S. leadership and unleashing American energy, ingenuity and genius.

That’s why I’m so pleased to present 75 Breakthroughs by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories.

The spectrum of the 75 Breakthroughs is astonishing, from basic science -- such as decoding DNA, detecting the neutrino and discovering dark matter -- to applied research such as unleashing an American energy renaissance, improving grid resiliency and launching the LED lighting revolution. Along the way, DOE’s National Laboratories have led the world in supercomputing, brought safer, cleaner water to millions, improved automotive steel, levitated trains, ensured the integrity of our nuclear weapons and revolutionized medical diagnostics and treatment.

They’ve done all of that … and much, much more.

The researchers serving at our National Laboratories have put a distinctly American stamp on this past century of science. They have spawned industries, saved lives, and sparked imaginations. They have strengthened our security and increased our prosperity. And with equal measures of curiosity, ingenuity and tenacity, they are forging an even brighter future.

That’s why we’re celebrating their work. Over the next several months, we’ll be highlighting the 75 Breakthroughs by our National Laboratories in a variety of ways including social media posts, posters and videos about their leadership in discovery science, national security, environmental stewardship, and commercial innovation. Our National Laboratories will also be amplifying those achievements, which after all, belong to them.

The experts I’ve met at our National Labs would be quick to point out, however, that their achievements belong to all of us. The American people, through their representatives in Congress, have supported the work at the National Laboratories.  They have provided the investments that have built the Labs into world-leading research facilities and have led to America’s dominance in science and innovation.

For 75 years, DOE’s National Laboratories have offered unparalleled scientific service to our nation. The 75 Breakthroughs are a testament to their achievement.

But, this is just the beginning. I’m confident that we’ll soon be listing 100 Breakthroughs  … and 150 Breakthroughs … and well beyond. Together, we can put an even greater American stamp on this next century of science. And I’m certain that by continuing to unleash American energy, ingenuity, and genius, we can build a future brighter than our wildest dreams.