About NRRI

Delivering Integrated Research Solutions

As part of the University of Minnesota system research enterprise, NRRI employs over 140 scientists, engineers, technicians, staff and students in two industrial research facilities. Through collaborative partnerships, we deliver the innovative tools and solutions needed to utilize and sustain Minnesota’s valuable natural resources.

NRRI was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1983 as an applied science and engineering research organization to inform state citizens and decision-makers while leveraging the power of the University of Minnesota. The forward-looking charter provided by the Legislature is to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment. We are a mission-driven, project-focused team working to create opportunities for natural resource stewardship.

Our vision is clear: NRRI is setting out to discover the economy of the future.

Two Industrial Research Facilities

NRRI has extensive laboratory capabilities to discover and deliver at the bench-to-pilot scales, reducing risk inherent in commercializing innovations. NRRI in Duluth has 19 labs to meeting the needs of land, wildlife, water and minerals research. There’s also an additive manufacturing lab and several technology development labs. NRRI’s facility in Coleraine is a 27-acre site focused on minerals and bio-based energy research.

Directions - Visit NRRI

NRRI Duluth: Labs and Admin

nrriinfo@d.umn.edu | Main: (218) 788-2694 | 5013 Miller Trunk Hwy, Duluth, MN 55811 (map)

DIRECTIONS to Duluth Facility: From Hwy. 53 / Miller Trunk Highway, turn onto Cirrus Drive (at Northern Tool). Keep our big, blocky building on your left. Turn left at the “T” and then left again into the parking lot. (Note: Some mapping apps lead you astray, so follow these directions.)

Parking and guest information: Guest parking is located in front of the building, in the parking lot facing Highway 53. A UMD parking pass is required at all other locations. Please enter the building at the front door to register and meet your party. To schedule a visit call (218) 788-2694.

NRRI Coleraine: Minerals, Metallurgy and Biomass Conversion Labs

nrriinfo@d.umn.edu | Main: (218) 667-4201 | One Gayley Avenue, Coleraine, MN 55722 (map)

DIRECTIONS to Coleraine Facility: From Downtown Coleraine, turn off Roosevelt Ave onto Gayley Ave. Turn left into the NRRI gates across from the football field. Follow signage to continue to the parking lot near the ADMIN building.

Parking and guest information: Guest parking is located in front of the administration building. No parking pass is required. Please enter the building at the front door to register and meet your party. To schedule a visit call (218) 667-4201.

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Research Support Infrastructure - Central Administration

NRRI has invested in a strong Central Support and Office of the Executive Director infrastructure to support our researchers to do what they do best: research and delivery of integrated solutions. The NRRI administrative team is organized to support the needs of the research community at NRRI. The structure allows consistent practices across different teams and enables the ONE NRRI approach to collaboration and accountability.

Central Support Role:

  • Ensure institute approach to safety as a top priority, bring expertise to the table to ensure processes are defined and controlled in a safe manner, and capture best practice through effective documentation and employee training initiatives.
  • Prepare reports and metrics that provide investigators and leaders the information they need to be productive and effective.
  • Create and ensure that the NRRI administrative support resources are coordinated, aligned on vision, and providing “solutions” to our research activities.

Services and Tools:

  1. Safety/Quality: Documentation System, Management of Change (MOC), Hazard Assessment, link to EHS (UMD and TC), Safety Committee, Reporting, Employee Training, COVID-19.
  2. Financial Oversight: Finance Review Board (FRB), Monthly Budget Dashboard (projects and hard funding), Policy Oversight (i.e compliance with University requirements), Hard Funding Checkbook, Annual Metrics.
  3. Research Support: Translate UMD/UMN Policies and Procedures, transactional support and oversight, event planning, IT expertise and engagement, Point-of-Contact (UMD/UMN/External), facility planning.

NRRI Assets:

  • Standardized Safety and Quality Systems (Documentation, MOC, Hazard Reviews, etc)
  • Administrative processes designed for compliance and ease of use
  • Investment in People and encouraging collaboration as a default to work

NRRI Core Values

NRRI Core Values

Our Core Values drive and define everything that we do, and are the measure by which we gauge our success.  

  • Safety | The safety and well-being of our employees and partners are always first.
  • Quality | We commit to excellence in all aspects of our work.
  • Integrity | We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards to maintain trust by continuously demonstrating respect, clear communication, impartiality, honesty, and stewardship.
  • Innovation | We actively embrace change, empower creativity, and seek new perspectives to translate discovery into solutions.
  • Partnership | We strive to create and sustain productive relationships to achieve shared goals.
  • Collaboration | We build diverse, inclusive teams to frame research challenges, share knowledge and deliver impacts.

NRRI Charter, Mission, Vision

NRRI Charter

NRRI was formed by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1983 to leverage the applied research power of the University of Minnesota as an economic development engine for the state. This is one way in which the University of Minnesota fulfills its land grant university mission.

NRRI Mission

Deliver integrated research solutions that value our resources, environment and economy for a sustainable and resilient future.

NRRI Vision

Discover the economy of the future.

NRRI research informs decisions on natural resource utilization and drives economic opportunities for the State of Minnesota and beyond. The economy of the future will be defined by the natural resource nexus of water, energy and materials within the sustainable development nexus of the environment, economy and society. NRRI seeks to develop a portfolio of opportunities for Minnesota.

Sustainable Development Goals

Supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define 17 different targets for global development adopted in September 2015, set to be achieved by 2030. All countries of the world have agreed to work towards achieving these goals.

Our work at NRRI directly supports 11 of these 17 goals through integrated research and Life Cycle Thinking. 

NRRI Culture Statement

NRRI Culture Statement

We bring our best selves to work at NRRI to make a positive impact on our collective future.

Our culture of innovation, collaboration and integrated research creates ripples of opportunity for Minnesota, the region, and far beyond. 

The diversity of our research and our people drives our success.