TRC facility concept

Translational Research Capability

State-of-the-art laboratory space for expanding scientific activities

Coming in 2024

TRC facility architectural rendering

What are we building?

The Translational Research Capability (TRC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will contain a variety of laboratories in 100,000 square feet of space where researchers can explore a wide range of world-changing, groundbreaking science.

The big picture

The TRC at ORNL will support advances in quantum information sciences, making computers faster and more secure than ever; materials science, revolutionizing products like paints, auto parts, prosthetics, and medical equipment; and multidisciplinary research, combining different fields of study to answer the world’s biggest research questions.

TRC collaboration between scientists

New labs with new environments

To enable cutting-edge research, the TRC will accommodate sensitive lab equipment, heavy equipment, and multipurpose labs where several different types of research can occur through the years.  Some labs require special environments to conduct research safely and effectively.

One example of the special environments available in the TRC is an inert environment lab. An inert environment lab space allows researchers to handle materials that need an inert atmosphere—traditionally a glovebox. This will greatly reduce the amount of time needed to perform reactions.

The TRC will also offer low-vibration environments.  Some experiments require such precision that even slight vibrations, like a large truck passing by, can affect the equipment and results.  Low-vibration environments are important, and sometimes required, in nanotechnology and fusion energy applications.

Key components of the TRC facility

  • Office spaces that promote high levels of collaboration
  • Space that invites flexibility and creativity
  • Space with noise isolation to enhance productivity
  • Electromagnetic shielding to guard sensitive electronics from interference

Sneak Peek

Corrosive Sciences

Corrosive Sciences


Quantum Information

Quantum Information


Mechanical Properties

Mechanical Properties


Energy Storage

Energy Storage


High Bay

High Bay


Collaborative Space

Collaborative Space



The manipulation and control of quantum mechanics will revolutionize a range of technologies, including computers exponentially more powerful than today’s fastest systems and information networks that are virtually unhackable. To realize this potential, ORNL, in partnerships with industry, academia, and government, will utilize the TRC’s innovative laboratory space to achieve breakthroughs in computing, materials, networking, and sensing.


Multidisciplinary teams of computer scientists, physicists, and engineers will work in concert to investigate promising quantum hardware and software through experimentation, theory, and simulation.


Materials have always dictated the progression of technology, and a new generation of quantum materials may well usher in the next great era in innovation. To accelerate discovery, researchers leverage laboratory space at the TRC and other ORNL facilities to explore and discover ideal quantum materials for use in sensing, computing, and networking.


Already leaders in the development of quantum networking technologies, ORNL scientists and engineers will continue to explore and develop elegant quantum network capabilities and build their existing portfolio of more than a dozen quantum networking-related inventions that are available for either research or commercial license.


ORNL researchers will combine their expertise in quantum information and sensing with the state-of-the art laboratories at the TRC to gain improvements over classical sensors and optimize a new class of quantum sensors capable of detecting dark matter, a that are able to detect dark matter, a feat unheard of in traditional sensing capabilities.


The demonstration of fusion energy as an environmentally sustainable, economically competitive energy source will require mastering of materials science issues and understanding plasma performance. To meet these challenges, ORNL, in partnership with academia, industry, and other national laboratories, will use TRC’s flexible facilities to test components for the Materials Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX), evaluate diagnostics for ITER, and investigate advanced plasma fueling options.



Jan. 2021

Start Construction

digging icon

Sept. 2021

Complete structural steel

steel frame icon

Sept. 2022

Facility weathertight

umbrella icon

Jan-Dec 2023

Construction continued

brick laying icon

Early 2024

Construction Complete

building icon

2024 & Beyond

New era of Research Capabilities at ORNL

molecules icon

Project Director

Randy Pickens

Randy Pickens

ORNL Project Director

Phone: (865) 387-4304