Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory Announces First Executive Director

The Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory has announced the selection of its first Executive Director, David Hiller, a former staff member and advisor to U.S. Senator Ken Salazar. As Executive Director, Hiller will work directly with the Collaboratory Directors and Executive Board to pursue the Collaboratory’s strategic vision, expand joint research activities and increase coordination with state and federal officials.

The Executive Board members – Stan Bull (Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships,  National Renewable Energy Laboratory), William Farland (Vice President for Research, Colorado State University), John Poate (Vice President of Research and Technology Transfer, Colorado School of Mines), and Stein Sture (Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Colorado at Boulder) – greeted Hiller’s arrival with this statement: "David Hiller’s vision, leadership and commitment are sure to accelerate the successes of the Collaboratory’s energy research integration. We look forward to working with him."

Hiller will be based in the Collaboratory’s business office, located within the Colorado State University System offices in Denver at 410 17th St., Suite 1400.

The Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory is a research collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, based in Golden, Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Working closely with the private sector, the Collaboratory’s central purpose is to develop renewable energy technologies for rapid commercialization.  

The Collaboratory’s work will benefit Colorado by boosting the state’s renewable energy economy, generating new businesses and creating new markets for Colorado’s farm and forest products.  The Collaboratory’s world-class research projects will also attract top science and engineering faculty and students to the four Colorado institutions.  Finally, the Collaboratory will work with other Colorado colleges and universities to enhance science and engineering courses and to train workers for jobs in renewable energy industries.

The first major project of the Collaboratory, the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, known as C2B2, was launched on July 1.  The Center is a research venture between large and small businesses and the Collaboratory.  C2B2 will perform cutting-edge research to develop new biofuels and biorefining technologies and transfer these advances as rapidly as possible to the private sector.  Large businesses that have already joined C2B2 include Archers Daniels Midland, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Dow Chemical, DuPont, General Motors, Shell, Suncor, Weyerhauser and WR Grace.   

The private sponsors of C2B2 have already committed more than $500,000 toward shared research projects and research fellowships, entitling C2B2 to receive an additional $500,000 in state matching funds.  These funds were appropriated by the Colorado General Assembly in 2006 to support the Collaboratory.  

Private industry is drawn to the Collaboratory by the opportunity to work with four leading research institutions and their highly respected faculties and outstanding laboratory facilities.  The combination of the four institutions provides unmatched renewable energy research capabilities.  One of Hiller’s tasks will be to facilitate communication within the Collaboratory structure and with its private partners.  

Since the Collaboratory was first proposed in March 2006, Hiller had served as Senator Salazar’s liaison to the Collaboratory leadership, and Jeanette Alberg served in a similar role for Senator Allard.  One of the keys to the Collaboratory’s rapid success is the strong, bipartisan support provided by Colorado’s state and federal elected officials.  

As State Issues Counsel for Senator Salazar from 2005 to 2007, Hiller focused on energy, natural resources and environmental policy issues.  Hiller previously served as Policy Director for Senator Salazar’s 2004 campaign and, from 1980 to 2003, he practiced law at the Denver firms of Davis, Graham & Stubbs and Don, Hiller & Galleher.