DOE Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee Meets to Discuss International Benchmarking Report

Aug 30, 2021


Last week, the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Basic Energy Sciences (BES) Advisory Committee met a new report that looks at how DOE research and facilities measure up against those of our competitor nations. The report’s findings were presented by subcommittee chair Cynthia Friend of the Kavli Foundation and vice chair Matthew Tirrell of the University of Chicago. As one of its key findings, the International Benchmarking Report found there is an overall downward trend in all research areas from 2010 to present.
According to Friend, the International Benchmarking Report aimed to:
  1. identify key areas of its mission-relevant research and facility capabilities in which U.S. leadership is most threatened,
  2. advise on modifications to existing trade-offs or new ways to leverage scarce resources, and
  3. identify incentives that will retain and attract scientific talent. 
To achieve the goals outlined above, the report offers specific recommendations, such as encouraging policymakers to make stronger investments in laboratory-based advanced research infrastructure, a position supported by ASME.
The subcommittee developing the report looked also at how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the U.S.’s global position in basic energy research and has found that it is imperative DOE programs aim to shorten the time from discovery to application. Friend commented that there is a need to better facilitate an overlap between basic, user-inspired, applied, and industrial research.
This is the first time the Advisory Committee has met since December. For more information, please visit:

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