Americans have spent more time stuck at home in 2020 than anyone could have imagined. But many found ways to make stay-at-home life a little less difficult or even, at times, enjoyable.

Telecommuting from the home office, virtual happy hours, crystal clear displays, new recipes for dinner — all of them have helped people cope. And many would be surprised to learn that all those activities have roots in a federal lab.

When innovative federal agency and laboratory research and development reach the market — often through technology transfer partnerships — ordinary Americans benefit. Clicks the links below to read about some examples:

1. Connecting to the Outside World

The internet has become the lifeline to the outside world during the coronavirus. Our children are attending classes, we “go to work,” we stream films and shop.

Let’s thank the Department of Defense for this technology, started more than 70 years ago when the U.S. Army unveiled the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). Technology has continued to expand and the Army Research Laboratory Computational and Information Sciences Directorate proudly carries forward the tradition.

2. Better, Brighter Displays

Having a bright and colorful display on your screen enhances your work, studies, and streaming experience. Quarantining at home has brought on an increased use of electronic devices such as laptops, smart phones, and high definition televisions. Increased usage has heightened the need for more energy efficiency to power electronic displays.

Thank the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley’s National Laboratory (LBNL) for developing more energy efficient, colorful and brighter displays. Learn how the scientists at LBNL manipulated nanocrystals, called quantum dots, to emit pure color at nearly a 100% photo conversion efficiency.

3. Putting Food on the Table

Are you visiting your kitchen more than usual during quarantine? Lots of the food we enjoy benefited from U.S. Department of Agriculture research. From potato flakes for making mashed potatoes, to Roma tomatoes, large-breasted turkeys, low-fat cheese, lactose-free milk, orange juice concentrate, and so much more — innovation has never been so tasty.