The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC) is responsible for the stewardship of ten national laboratories. SC’s challenge is to ensure that these institutions are focused, individually and collectively, on achieving the DOE mission, that government resources and support are allocated to ensure their long-term scientific and technical excellence, and that a proper balance exists among them between competition and collaboration.
Congress emphasized the importance of planning for the future of the laboratories in a report accompanying the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, in which it required DOE to produce business plans for each of the national laboratories. While this requirement does not exist today, SC has acknowledged the importance and benefits of conducting a laboratory planning process on an annual basis as an element of its stewardship responsibility for these institutions.
Each year SC engages its laboratories in a strategic planning activity that asks the laboratory leadership teams to define a long-range vision for the future of their respective institutions. This information provides the starting point for a discussion between the SC leadership and the laboratory about the laboratory’s future directions, strengths and weaknesses, immediate and long-range challenges, and resource needs.
The Office of Laboratory Policy develops, manages, and coordinates implementation of the annual laboratory strategic planning process on behalf of the Director of the Office of Science, including preparation of instructions and annual laboratory policy and institutional guidance.