class user facilities and capabilities at the laboratories, and the potential for increasing the number of graduates from universities in critical science and technology (S&T) skills areas.

There are several forms of collaborative activity relative to the breadth of capabilities available at the national laboratories, particularly those with major user facilities. These were described by many of the presenters and include university faculty or students using a facility, joint research programs, joint educational programs, and at the highest institutional level, management contracts. Although each of these modes of interaction brings a number of benefits to both parties, most participants clearly identified the user facilities at DOE laboratories as one of the most important assets for the scientific community.

In the post-Cold War era, the DOE Office of Science (DOE-SC) national laboratories have become the major stewards of large-scale science capabilities that serve the entire U.S. scientific community. This stewardship function has grown rapidly together with advances in science and technology and is a significant role for DOE-SC. According to John Marburger, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the office spends approximately 40 percent on average of its programmatic funds on facilities operations. Additional funds are devoted to construction of new facilities. The rationale for continued federal investment in the laboratories is to ensure that these capabilities remain available to the U.S. scientific community.1

BENEFITS OF COLLABORATIONS TO UNIVERSITIES

The scientific facilities at the national laboratories and the unique instrumentation they provide are increasingly essential for university research groups to carry out their advanced scientific experiments in support of a broad set of science agendas. Some of the important benefits to universities from collaborations with national laboratories are noted below, taken largely from discussions at the Incentives and Structures breakout session at the workshop:

  • Science requiring large, complex facilities. Universities generally operate through principal investigators and small groups who are not in a financial position to support large facilities such as the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and the teams of trained scientists and technicians required for effective and safe operation. Even if a university were in a position to fund a major laboratory, support for

1  

This section draws heavily on remarks presented by Michael Holland on behalf of John Marburger at the workshop.



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