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About NRRI

Mission driven. Project focused.

NRRI helps Minnesota prepare for the economy of the future.

Researcher making taconite green balls.

About NRRI

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 precious natural resources.

Applied Research Platforms

NRRI’s strategic research platforms define our unique capabilities and programs. These platforms address Minnesota’s soil, forest, water and mineral resources:

  1. Applied Ecology and Resource Management 
  2. Minerals and Metallurgy
  3. Materials and Bioeconomy
  4. Data Collection and Delivery 
  5. Commercialization Services

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.

NRRI Charter

To foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment.
- Minnesota State Legislature, 1983

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. 

NRRI Core Values

  • Safety | Safety comes first in all that we do. 

  • Quality | There is no compromise on the quality of our work. We aim for top quality in everything we do. 

  • Innovation | The key to our future is innovation. We actively embrace new ideas, tools, approaches and partnerships. 

  • Integrity | Our integrity is the foundation of our public trust; We maintain an honest, unbiased approach in all that we do. We enter all conversations and relationships with respect for one another and the environment.

  • CollaborationWe continually work to develop and nurture productive relationships. It's how we get things done!

  • Partnership | We strive to serve our partners and our stakeholders. We actively seek the voice of our rightholders, stakeholders, clients and partners.