There were differences today, however, he said, which was “good news.” The nation had had 25 year of experience with partnerships, some of which had worked well (SEMATECH) and others that had not worked so well (Synfuels). There was also the benefit of a history of reviews and analysis of what had worked for SEMATECH, the ATP, and some NIH programs. Research on university-industry relations, including work by Dr. Gabriel, he said, had helped us understand more about how partnerships work.
He concluded by saying that “the default position is going to be failure.” Unless the DHS was designed with the lessons of the past in mind, “R&D is going to be buried by the crisis of the day. We have to design DHS in such a way that that doesn’t happen.” Organizationally, said Mr. Turner, the DHS would be successful only if it is organized as a single department with a common mission, not as a holding company for a variety of agencies with piecemeal missions. He said that the achievements of the first secretary and the first undersecretary would be critical, as would the organization’s executive orders, which is where the executive branch would receive its guidance on objectives and implementation.
He reminded the workshop that “homeland security” is “an important value but not the only value; we have to design with civil liberties in mind, the environment, and the other values that make this country great.”
He also suggested that the Academies had a more important role in creating DHS than they had had during creation of the Department of Energy 25 years earlier, partly because the Office of Technology Assessment and several other objective sources of information no longer existed. “This has been a great meeting,” he concluded, “but the work of the Academies is just beginning. The Academies are our best convener of experts right now, and I think they will be the best constructive critic to keep this department on the right track.”