centives. It can play a role not only in promoting innovation in the agency but stimulating innovation by others. The agency also has the opportunity to leverage resources to support innovation. The committee does not recommend that EPA attempt to develop all such solutions itself. Rather, it would be more cost effective to partner and engage with others to support innovation. That can be supported through EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program or an award, such as the Presidential Green Chemistry Awards, which would nudge the entrepreneurial community to address problems of direct interest to the agency. EPA has taken a global leadership role by supporting efforts that focus on innovative solutions-oriented science, including the pollution prevention program, Design for the Environment, and the green chemistry and engineering program. They demonstrate the potential for innovative approaches to advance and use scientific knowledge to protect health and the environment through the redesign of chemicals, materials, and products. They also demonstrate the role that EPA can play in driving decisions by providing high-quality scientific information.
Finding: EPA has recognized that innovation in environmental science, technology, and regulatory strategies will be essential if it is to continue to perform its mission in a robust and cost-effective manner. However, to date, the agency’s approach has been modest in scale and insufficiently systematic.
Recommendation 6: The committee recommends that EPA develop a more systematic strategy to support innovation in science, technology, and practice.
In doing this, the agency would be well-advised to work on identifying much more clearly the “signals” that it is or is not sending and to refine them as needed. Clearly identifying signals could be accomplished by seeking to identify the key desired outcomes of EPA’s regulatory programs and communicate the desired outcomes clearly to the private and public sectors. The committee has identified several ways in which EPA could address this recommendation.
• Establish and periodically update an agency-wide innovation strategy that outlines key desired outcomes, processes for supporting innovation, and opportunities for collaboration. Such a strategy would identify incentives, disincentives, and opportunities in program offices to advance innovation. It would highlight collaborative needs, education, and training for staff to support innovation.
• Identify and implement cross-agency efforts to integrate innovative activities in different parts of the agency to achieve more substantial long-term innovation. One immediate example of such integration that is only beginning to occur is bringing the work on green chemistry from the Design for the Environment program together with the innovative work on high-throughput screening