Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program was formed (see Appendix A for committee biographical information) to undertake this task and was specifically tasked to do the following:
Evaluate the overall ITP strategic plan as contained in the Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP), including whether the strategic plan is appropriate, has reasonable and achievable goals, and reflects the needs of the DOE and the broader U.S. industrial community;
Evaluate the technical quality and appropriateness of individual subprogram plans by reviewing both the decision-making process and each prospective portfolio, including the following: how focus areas and barriers were identified; whether appropriate data sources were used; whether the data used (studies, roadmaps, industry expertise) support the selection of focus areas and barriers; whether the focus areas and barriers are the highest priority or most appropriate related to the ITP’s mission; how the R&D pathways were determined and whether these pathways are likely to result in achieving program goals; whether the prospective subprogram portfolios are the right ones to achieve the goals of the ITP; whether there are unnecessary research areas or gaps in research; and whether there is a reasonable mix of near-, mid-, and far-term research; and
Determine the prospective value of the MYPP and planning processes, including: the likelihood that the program will achieve its goals; whether there is a good plan to carry out the program; how well the program is connected to the users, including non-ITP researchers; and the capacity to develop lessons learned for future interdisciplinary research activities.
The committee was asked to include findings and recommendations related to the quality and appropriateness of all DOE projects and programs in the ITP, including internal work, collaborative activities, and competitively sourced research, development, and analysis. While the primary objective of this review was to conduct peer assessments that provided technical advice, the committee was asked to offer programmatic advice when it followed naturally from technical considerations. The committee was not asked to make specific budget recommendations.
In early May 2004, committee members received a copy of the MYPP dated October 2003, as well as other documents describing the various subprograms and activities within the ITP. On May 19–20, 2004, the committee heard presentations from ITP personnel regarding the program. In order to evaluate the individual ITP subprograms, the ITP’s technology delivery activities, and ITP activities at the EERE regional offices, committee members reviewed the MYPP, annual reports from all of the subprograms, and additional supporting documents, as well as hearing the presentations from ITP personnel. Owing to time and resource constraints, the subprogram presentations were divided into three groups (see the meeting agenda in Appendix B), with one committee member assigned as the lead on each subprogram review and two others assigned to support the lead. The committee was able to ask program managers for specific information and request additional information. On May 21, 2004, the committee met in closed session and began the process of coming to consensus on subprogram and program evaluations. This report represents the consensus conclusions and recommendations of the committee.
Following the background information in Chapter 1 on the context within which the ITP operates and some history of the ITP itself, Chapter 2 presents the committee’s program-level evaluations. Included are evaluations of the Strategic Plan, the overall program plan, the decision-making process, and the corporate strategy. Chapter 3 presents the committee’s evaluation of the individual subprograms that are based on the Industries of the Future, and Chapter 4 provides its evaluations of the individual crosscutting subprograms, as well as the technology delivery subprogram and ITP activities at the EERE regional offices. Chapter 5 then presents the committee’s overall conclusions and recommendations.