funded projects (n=277) to ask them about the career paths of their trainees; their self-described most important contributions, published or otherwise, from their NPGI projects; their interactions with industry; and a list of all their publications citing NPGI funding (see Appendix C for the questionnaire). Third, the committee hosted a public workshop and invited plant scientists from universities, government agencies, and industry to solicit their evaluation of the achievements of NPGI in the last nine years and to discuss possible future directions of the program (see Appendix D for workshop agenda).
The scope of the study, however, was not limited to assessing only the funded research. The IWG has not only supported many activities and programs related to plant genomics over the last nine years, but also it has coordinated plant research among agencies. Research results from NPGI have been used to formulate mission-focused programs in participating agencies, as detailed in Chapter 2. Some IWG agencies also have provided, and continue to provide, databases, genomic technologies, sequencing facilities, and other in-kind support for plant genome research that IWG considers part of NPGI. A direct assessment of those contributions is difficult because there is not a clear definition of what endeavors are directly related to NPGI and which are ongoing within each IWG member agency that only peripherally support NPGI goals.
The committee attempted to take those NPGI-related activities into consideration, assessed whether NPGI has been achieving its goals, and recommends here future directions required to increase the impact of plant genome science research in the United States and around the world. In Chapter 3, the committee makes nine recommendations for NPGI on the basis of the contemporary societal issues facing the nation at present, the progress that NPGI has made to date and the areas that could be improved, and how NPGI could best achieve its goals.