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Key Influences on the Development of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences Catalysis Science Program Portfolio

The portfolio of the Catalysis Science Program in the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) has changed due to a variety of factors. The portfolio is shaped largely by the program manager, with input from the scientific community and the broader public. According to BES, program priorities are established on the basis of

  • International trends

  • National priorities and laws

  • Workshops and professional meetings

  • Research solicitations

  • Contractor meetings

  • BES Advisory Committee (BESAC)

This chapter will describe and evaluate these influences, with the exception of international trends and national priorities and laws.

WORKSHOPS AND PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS

BES staff uses workshops and meetings to bring members of the research community together and to communicate the latest results and directions of its research programs in the chemical sciences, geosciences, biosciences, materials sciences and engineering, and scientific user facilities. BES states that the workshops aid in planning program activities and formulating budget requests. They are also important in integrating efforts among the diverse research communities spread across its research programs and in helping program management to identify new trends and opportunities.



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4 Key Influences on the Development of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences Catalysis Science Program Portfolio The portfolio of the Catalysis Science Program in the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) has changed due to a variety of factors. The portfolio is shaped largely by the program manager, with input from the scientific community and the broader public. According to BES, program priorities are established on the basis of • International trends • National priorities and laws • Workshops and professional meetings • Research solicitations • Contractor meetings • BES Advisory Committee (BESAC) This chapter will describe and evaluate these influences, with the ex- ception of international trends and national priorities and laws. WORKSHOPS AND PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS BES staff uses workshops and meetings to bring members of the re- search community together and to communicate the latest results and directions of its research programs in the chemical sciences, geosciences, biosciences, ma- terials sciences and engineering, and scientific user facilities. BES states that the workshops aid in planning program activities and formulating budget requests. They are also important in integrating efforts among the diverse research com- munities spread across its research programs and in helping program manage- ment to identify new trends and opportunities. 43

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44 CATALYSIS FOR ENERGY Recently, BES has sponsored two kinds of workshops: those organized by BESAC and those of the Basic Research Needs (BRN) workshop series, which are organized by program managers in the various BES divisions (see Box 4-1). Individual research programs in BES have not typically held separate workshops. Of most relevance to the Catalysis Science Program is the 10th workshop in the BRN series, which focused on catalysis for energy and was held during the summer 2007. According to BES staff, the chairs for all of the BRN workshops were chosen by the associate director of BES, who considered recommendations by the program and division managers. The primary selection criterion was that the chairs have substantial relevant expertise and seniority so that they would have the confidence of the university and the national laboratory communities. The chairs were charged with identifying panel chairs (subject to BES concurrence), who were typically pairs of university, industry, or national laboratory research- ers. The workshop session topics were selected as a result of discussions between BES and the workshop chairs. The session chairs, in turn, defined the scope and constituency of their panels with input from BES and the workshop chairs. The chairs were encouraged to consider a balanced mix of persons from academe, national laboratories, and industry and were not restricted as to exper- tise or prior funding from DOE. The total number of participants was limited to avoid unfocused sessions and to encourage maximum interaction among the panelists. The affiliations of the participants in the BRN workshop on catalysis for energy are summarized in Table 4-1. Approximately 32 percent of the 127 participants were principal investigators funded by the Catalysis Science Pro- gram, and 56 percent were principal investigators or others who were not. A number of those outside the Catalysis Science Program had received grants from other BES programs (such as the Solar Photochemistry Program). BESAC also has held workshops over the years. In 2002, BESAC held a workshop highly relevant to the Catalysis Science Program titled “Opportuni- ties for Catalysis in the 21st Century,” which will be discussed later in this chap- ter. The Catalysis Science Program also provides support for individual meetings and workshops, such as Gordon research conferences, primarily to support the participation of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Recent examples of catalysis-related Gordon conferences supported by the program are those on Catalysis (2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008), Organometallic Chemistry (2002 and 2003), Chemical Reactions at Surfaces (2003, 2005, and 2007), Inor- ganic Chemistry/Reaction Mechanisms (2004 and 2007), and Electrochemistry (2006 and 2007). The program also has supported other conferences and sympo- sia (for example, the American Chemical Society and the North American Ca- talysis Society).

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45 KEY INFLUENCES BOX 4-1 The BES Basic Research Needs Workshop Series The 12 reports listed below constitute the integrated output of a set of workshops that were designed by BES to guide strategic planning for the next decade or longer. The series began in 2002 with the workshop titled “Basic Re- search Needs to Assure a Secure Energy Future,” which mapped in general terms the fields of science in which basic research could affect the nation’s “dec- ades to century” energy needs. During the subsequent five years, the series of workshops addressed 10 fields in which “use-inspired” basic research (i.e., moti- vated by potential future applications) might lead to transformative approaches to energy production and use. These fields focused on specific energy-production sectors (hydrogen, solar, and nuclear), uses (solid-state lighting, superconductiv- ity, energy storage, and transportation), and cross-cutting subjects (catalysis, geoscience issues related to energy, and materials under extreme conditions). The final workshop in the BRN series, Directing Matter and Energy: Five Chal- lenges for Science and the Imagination, formulated five “grand challenges” that underpin the BES approach. • How do we control material processes at the level of electrons? • How do we design and perfect atom- and energy- efficient synthesis of revolutionary new forms of matter with tailored properties? • How do remarkable properties of matter emerge from complex correla- tions of the atomic or electronic constituents and how can we control these properties? • How can we master energy and information on the nanoscale to create new technologies with capabilities rivaling those of living things? • How do we characterize and control matter away—especially very far away—from equilibrium? The BRN workshop reports in ascending order of publication date are as follows: • Basic Research Needs to Assure a Secure Energy Future • Basic Research Needs for the Hydrogen Economy • Basic Research Needs for Solar Energy Utilization • Basic Research Needs for Superconductivity • Basic Research Needs for Solid-State Lighting • Basic Research Needs for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems • Basic Research Needs for Clean and Efficient Combustion of 21st Century Transportation Fuels • Basic Research Needs for Geosciences: Facilitating 21st Century En- ergy Systems • Basic Research Needs for Electrical Energy Storage • Basic Research Needs: Catalysis for Energy • Basic Research Needs for Materials under Extreme Environments • Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagina- tion NOTE: The text of the BRN workshop reports may be found online at http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/reports/list.html.

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46 CATALYSIS FOR ENERGY TABLE 4-1 Affiliations of Participants in the BRN Workshop on Catalysis for Energy Affiliation No. Participants % of Total Catalysis Grantees 41 32% Heterogeneous 29 Homogeneous 12 Others 71 56% National laboratories 31 Academic 22 Industry, other 18 DOE Staff 15 12% TOTAL 127 NOTES: Original analysis based on the list of attendees and affiliations in Ap- pendix 3 of Basic Research Needs: Catalysis for Energy SOURCE: Basic Research Needs: Catalysis for Energy. 2007. U.S. Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences. Online. Available at http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/reports/files/CAT_rpt.pdf. Accessed June 2008. All of the core research areas of BES have used the BRN workshops, as appropriate, to guide the evolution of their portfolios. In addition, many targeted solicitations in recent years have referred specifically to BRN workshop reports to describe the scientific subjects to be addressed in submitted proposals. The following are examples of grant solicitations that are relevant to the Catalysis Science Program: • 2008: Energy Frontier Research Centers, http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/EFRC.html. • 2008: Single-Investigator and Small-Group Research, http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/SISGR.html. • 2006: Basic Research for Solar Energy Utilization, http://www.sc.doe.gov/grants/FAPN06-15.html • 2006: Basic Research for the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, http://www.sc.doe.gov/grants/FAPN06-17.html • 2005: Basic Research in Chemical Imaging, http://www.sc.doe.gov/grants/closed05.html • 2004: Basic Research for the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, http://www.sc.doe.gov/grants/Fr04-20.html • 2003 : Catalysis Science, http://www.sc.doe.gov/grants/Fr03-16.html • 2001: Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology, http://www.sc.doe.gov/grants/Fr02-02.html

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47 KEY INFLUENCES Projects relevant to the Catalysis Science Program and funded through the solicitations are discussed in more detail in the next section. RESEARCH SOLICITATIONS Since 1999, three initiatives—the National Nanoscience Initiative (NNI), the Catalysis Science Initiative (CSI), and the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative (HFI)—have substantially influenced the direction of the Catalysis Science Pro- gram. These initiatives were discussed in Chapter 2 and are briefly described below in Table 4-2. Their influence on the number of grants and the distribution of grants among national laboratories and universities for FY 1999 to FY 2007 is shown in Figure 4-1. The initiatives have led to an increase in funding or an increase in the number of grants in the program portfolio. The CSI has been par- ticularly effective in bringing in new researchers and in fostering more collabo- rative models of conducting research. The major new source of funding origi- nated from the HFI. 160 Universities (Initiatives) Universities 140 National Labs (Initiatives) National Labs 120 Number of Grants 100 80 60 40 20 0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Fiscal Year FIGURE 4-1 Influence of initiatives and distribution of Catalysis Science Program grants among national laboratories and universities. SOURCE: Original analysis based on grant information from Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Catalysis Science Program.

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48 CATALYSIS FOR ENERGY TABLE 4-2 KEY Initiatives That Have Influenced the BES Portfolio Since FY 2001 Fiscal Year Initiative Description 2001 NNI Grants reorganized and additional funding provided under NNI, which focused on emer- gent properties at the nanoscale (see http://www.nano.gov for more information); total funding for FYs 2001–2007 was ap- proximately $37.7 million, which included new money. 2003 CSI Grants funded as a result of a BES solicitation for high-risk, long-term, multi-investigator, multidisciplinary research on the science of catalysis; most grants readapted from single principal investigator to group efforts; total funding for FYs 1999–2007 was approxi- mately $38.1 million from existing BES funds. 2005 HFI Grants focused on hydrogen production, stor- age, and use, largely involving electrocataly- sis; agency-wide initiative provided new funds and increased the number of grants for the Catalysis Science Program; one-time funding increment of $50 million was allotted to the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division, including a total of approximately $12 million for the Catalysis Science Program. CONTRACTOR MEETINGS Unlike the BRN workshops, contractor meetings are organized entirely by individual program managers and are attended primarily by the program’s principal investigators. Some recent Catalysis Science Program contractor meet- ings are as follows:1 • Catalysis Science (2004) • Nanocatalysis Science (2005) 1 Contractor meeting abstract books are available at http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/chm/Publications/publications.html.

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49 KEY INFLUENCES • Organometallic, Inorganic, and Bioinspired Chemistry & Cataly- sis (2006) • Interfacial and Nano Catalysis (2007) • Molecular Catalysis Science (2008) The purpose of the meetings is to allow the exchange of information and to encourage cross-fertilization within the program. BES staff says that pro- gram managers benefit from a view of the whole program—or major portions of the program—and acquire an impression of overall progress with respect to pre- vious years. The contractor meetings also serve as a forum for the discussion of needs and opportunities in the broader field of catalysis, as well as in the BES catalysis community. As shown in Figure 4-2, participants in contractor meetings (in contrast with the 2002 BESAC workshop and the 2007 BRN workshop) are mostly prin- cipal investigators funded by the Catalysis Science Program. Typically, 60 per- cent or more of participants in the contractor meetings are catalysis grantees, whereas approximately 30 percent of the participants in the BESAC and BRN workshops are catalysis grantees. Meeting guests include other BES program principal investigators, invited keynote speakers who are not BES principal in- vestigators (including international researchers), and a few invited attendees who are newer researchers at universities or national laboratories not funded by the program. The total number of invitees is restricted by cost and efficiency to about 100 per meeting. The fields and topics of presentations and discussions at contractor meetings are always chosen to represent both the current program scope and emerging trends. The meetings rotate from year to year (between homogeneous catalysis and heterogeneous catalysis researchers, with the exception of 2004 when the two groups met together), with approximately 60 percent of the pro- gram-funded principal investigators attending each year to allow cross- fertilization. Attendance at the contractor meetings (Table 4-3), particularly the more recent ones, has been appropriately distributed between new grantees (typically junior researchers) and longer-term grantees. At the 2006, 2007, and 2008 contractor meetings and the 2007 BRN workshop, 20 to 25 percent of the grantees attending were new (with funding beginning in the year before, the year of, or the year after the meeting took place). In comparison, less than 20 percent of the catalysis grantees were new to the program at the 2004 and 2005 contrac- tor meetings and the 2002 BESAC workshop.

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50 CATALYSIS FOR ENERGY 160 Other Attendees 140 Catalysis Science Program Grantees 120 Number of Attendees 100 80 60 40 20 0 Nanocatalysis Organometallic, Interfacial and Molecular BESAC BRN Workshop Catalysis Workshop (2007) Science (2004) (2005) Inorganic, and Nano (2007) Catalysis (2002) Bio (2006) (2008) Meeting Title (Year) FIGURE 4-2 Distribution of Catalysis Science Program grantees and other attendees at recent contractor meetings (first five bars), the BESAC Workshop, and the BRN Workshop. SOURCE: Original analysis of lists of meeting attendees. TABLE 4-3 Attendance at Recent Catalysis Science Program Contractor Meetings and Catalysis-Related Workshops New Existing Other Total Granteesa Meeting Title (Year) Grantees Attendees Attendees Catalysis Science (2004) 16 80 54 150 Nanocatalysis Science (2005) 6 46 43 95 Organometallic, Inorganic, and 16 49 29 94 Bioinspired Chemistry & Ca- talysis (2006) Interfacial and Nano Catalysis 20 59 35 114 (2007) Molecular Catalysis Science 14 42 22 78 (2008) BESAC workshop (2002) 3 19 52 74 BRN workshop (2007) 8 33 71 112 a New grantees are those whose funding began in the year before, the year of, or the year after the meeting.

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51 KEY INFLUENCES The program managers say that they select the chairs (organizers) for the contractor meetings from among the current principal investigators primarily on the basis of their skill as conference organizers. Chairs of the last five Cataly- sis Science Program contractor meetings are shown in Table 4-4, and they do not seem to follow any particular pattern. The first two meetings in the list (2004 and 2005) were organized by program staff, whereas the last three were organ- ized by a combination of grantees and program staff; the most recent was organ- ized by two newly funded grantees. Chairs of the catalysis-related 2002 BESAC and 2007 BRN workshops are also shown. According to BES program managers, the major role of a chair is to help with the identification and contacting of keynote speakers and other invited participants. For the latter purpose, they are instructed to obtain external input and advice from the science community, typically department chairs at universi- ties and national laboratories, who are aware of the interests of the newer re- searchers in their departments. OFFICE OF BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES ADVISORY COMMITTEE BESAC was established on September 4, 1986, to provide independent advice to DOE on the complex scientific and technical issues that arise in the planning, management, and implementation of its BES program. BESAC’s re- sponsibilities include advising on establishing priorities for research and facili- ties, determining proper program balance among disciplines, and identifying opportunities for interlaboratory collaboration, program integration, and indus- trial participation. One way that BESAC has recently had influence on the catalysis port- folio is through a workshop held in 2002 titled “Opportunities for Catalysis in the 21st Century.” According to the summary of the workshop, the impetus for the workshop grew out of a confluence of fac- tors: the continuing importance of catalysis to the Nation’s productivity and security, particularly in the production and consumption of energy and the associated environmental con- sequences, and the emergence of new research tools and con- cepts associated with nanoscience that can revolutionize the design and use of catalysts in the search for optimal control of chemical transformations. The report concludes as follows: [I]n setting its research agenda for the 21st century, the Fed- eral sector must identify and support areas of research that will provide the foundations for the evolution of our current scien-

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52 CATALYSIS FOR ENERGY tific infrastructure into a form that will meet the emerging needs of this new century. That is, the challenges represented on the Federal research agenda for this new century must be sufficiently grand to drive our infrastructure in directions that will meet the uncertainties of the future. One such grand chal- lenge is the development of an understanding, at the molecular level, that will allow us to manipulate, to predict, and ulti- mately to control chemical reactivity. Catalysis is one of the sciences at the heart of this challenge. TABLE 4-4 Chairs of Recent Catalysis Science Program Contractor Meetings and Catalysis-Related Workshops Meeting Chairs Contractor Meetings Catalysis Science (2004) John Gordon and Raul Miranda, BES Ca- talysis Science Program Nanocatalysis Science John Gordon and Raul Miranda, BES Ca- (2005) talysis Science Program Organometallic, Inorganic, Morris Bullock, Brookhaven National and Bioinspired Chemistry Laboratory; Raul Miranda, BES Catalysis & Catalysis (2006) Science Program Interfacial and Nano Ca- John M. White, Pacific Northwest National talysis (2007) Laboratory; Charles T. Campbell, Univer- sity of Washington; Michael J. Chen, BES Catalysis Science Program Molecular Catalysis Science Andreja Bakac and Aaron Sadow, Ames (2008) Laboratory and Iowa State University; Mi- chael Chen and Raul Miranda, BES Ca- talysis Science Program BES Workshops BESAC Opportunities for J. M. White, University of Texas; John Catalysis in the 21st Century Bercaw, California Institute of Technology (2002) BRN Catalysis for Energy Alexis T. Bell, University of California, (2007) Berkeley; Bruce C. Gates, University of California, Davis; Douglas Ray, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory SOURCE: Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division contrac- tor meeting books: http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/chm/Publications/publications.html; BESAC report: http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/BESAC/reports.html; BRN report: http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/reports/list.html.

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53 KEY INFLUENCES BESAC influences individual funding programs through its oversight of the Committee of Visitors (COV). In 1999, the director of the Office of Sci- ence charged BESAC with establishing a COV to monitor active projects and programs and to provide regular assessments of the processes used to solicit, review, recommend, and document proposal actions. COVs were assembled to evaluate the BES Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division (CSGB) in 2002, 2005, and 2008. The 2005 COV provided the most detailed evaluation of the Catalysis Science Program. The 2005 COV found CSGB as a whole to be well managed and in ex- cellent shape, with clear evidence that the processes for proposal solicitation, review, and action were working well and that the quality of science, the depth and breadth of portfolio elements, and the national and international standing of the elements were very good to excellent in all nine programs reviewed. How- ever, the COV identified two issues that required substantial attention by CSGB and BES management. One was the continuing lack of an integrated Office of Science database on processes for proposal review, tracking, decision and documentation, and monitoring (of funded proposals) and the lack of standard- ized database software that would allow rapid and efficient searches for infor- mation on principal investigators, reviewers, proposal actions, and principal investigators’ productivity. The second was the need for the Office of Science to implement ways to track gender and racial diversity among principal investiga- tors in universities and DOE laboratories and among reviewers. The COV noted that continuing inattention to diversity would potentially have a long-term ad- verse effect on workforce development. The 2005 COV provided detailed findings and recommendations about the efficacy and quality of the Catalysis Science Program’s processes and the effects of the award process on the portfolio (see Appendix E). The results of the 2005 COV assessment of the Catalysis Science Program can be summarized in four categories: program quality, the program manager, contractor meetings, and funding mechanisms. As pointed out in the COV report, the overall quality of the Catalysis Science Program is high (see Findings and Conclusions in Chapter 6 of this report), and the program has no doubt been favorably influenced by having the same program manager for the past eight years. The contractor meet- ings are important for monitoring the program and influencing the makeup of the funding portfolio. The Catalysis Science Program continues to struggle to find the right balance of funding between single and groups of investigators. CONCLUSIONS The Catalysis Science Program is responding to external factors and us- ing internal mechanisms to shape its research portfolio. In recent years, the pro- gram has been substantially influenced by special funding initiatives (for exam- ple, the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative). The program manager has done a good job of applying the initiatives in a way that provides continued support for long-term

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54 CATALYSIS FOR ENERGY grantees (and basic science) while bringing new researchers and new research approaches into the portfolio. The program also has been successful in using advice from BESAC (derived through workshops and COVs), contractor meet- ings, and professional meetings to shape its portfolio and influence funding de- cisions in a more “bottom-up” approach. The committee recommends that the Catalysis Science Program con- tinue to broaden participation in its contractor meetings and other activities. Non-DOE sponsored workshop organizers and grantees funded by other BSE programs should be invited to attend the Catalysis Science Program activities to provide a more diverse influence on the portfolio. This is particularly important in the development of research directions that will have a long-term impact on the program.