2016 Fed IT Profile: Battelle Memorial Institute

Federal IT Top 100 Rank: No. 4

$4.66 billion

Federal IT executive: Stephen Kelly, president, contract research at Battelle

Battelle is the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization. It is also the world’s most unusual government contractor.

A private, nonprofit charitable organization with 60 locations around the world, including seven laboratories it runs for the departments of Energy and Homeland Security, Battelle’s 22,000 employees are carrying out the vision of industrialist Gordon Battelle, who founded the organization in 1923 in Columbus, Ohio. Battelle believed that that superior business performance and high ethical and community standards can go hand-in-hand as positive forces for change.

Gordon Battelle also believed in leading-edge innovation. The $5.2 billion company’s scientists and engineering have created an array of advances in technology, including the barcode, the copy machine, cruise control and the CD. Since its founding, Battelle has focused its work on the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries.

Factoring out non-IT related revenue, IDC Government Insights estimates the nonprofit generated $4.66 billion from the sale of IT products and services to the federal government during the government’s fiscal year 2015, making the company No. 4 in the 2016 Federal IT Top 100 rankings. (Read the full story here.)

And yet, Battelle is hardly a household name. It has reached those accomplishments almost anonymously. One reason is that much of the company’s business with the government involves sensitive or classified research. But the organization also historically has had an aversion to publicity and self-promotion. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Wadsworth terms Battelle “a quiet company.”

Battelle's objective is to be a major force in science and technology discovery and in translating knowledge into innovative applications that have a major social and economic impact.  At technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Currently in the works are more than 5,000 projects for 1,100 government and industrial clients.

A significant portion of Battelle’s federal business focuses on energy. Reflecting its emphasis on innovation, for example, the company’s scientists, working with the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, recently demonstrated a process that turns coal into jet fuel.

Also in the energy sector, Battelle has long-term contracts to manage or co-manage Energy Department laboratories around the U.S., including Brookhaven, Idaho, Lawrence Livermore and the Oak Ridge national laboratories.

In the security arena, Battelle recently won a contract from the Navy that has a maximum value of $99.5 million to provide environmental security technology support to various local and international Navy and Marine Corps installations. The organization will conduct technology implementation, technical consultation, training, strategy development, research and administrative services at those facilities.

— Richard W. Walker

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