Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Projects sponsored by LDRD contribute significantly to intellectual property, publications, collaborations, and recruitment of postdoctoral researchers at LLNL, especially considering that the Program represents less than 6% of the Laboratory’s total budget.

In FY16, LDRD costs at Livermore were $85.75M, which is 5.3% of total Laboratory costs. In this section, we present annual performance indicators specified by the Director of the Office of Science for LDRD at the DOE/NNSA laboratories in accordance with DOE Order 413.2C.

Intellectual Property

The table below shows the number of patents that have resulted from LDRD-funded research since FY12 and the percentage of total Livermore patents that were derived from LDRD projects. Patents are listed according to the year in which they were granted; however, LDRD investment in a technology is typically made several years before the technology is actually patented. Furthermore, although an LDRD-sponsored project makes essential contributions to such technologies, subsequent programmatic sponsorship also contributes to a technology’s further development. In FY16, LDRD projects generated 56% of Livermore’s total patents, even though the LDRD Program was only 5.3% of the Laboratory’s total costs.

Patents resulting from LDRD-funded research as a percentage of all Livermore patents for the last five fiscal years
Patents FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16
All LLNL patents 7884 105 196 97
LDRD patents 35 44 46 46 53
LDRD patents as percentage of total45% 52% 44% 48% 56%

Records of invention submitted by LDRD researchers also account for a significant percentage of the total for the Laboratory. Overall, LDRD records of invention for FY12 to FY16 account for 49% of the 617 total. In FY16, there were 91 records submitted at Livermore, with 43 (47%) of those attributable to LDRD-supported projects.

Records of invention resulting from LDRD-funded research as a percentage of all Livermore records for the last five fiscal years
Record of Invention FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16
All LLNL records 162 156 86 122 91
LDRD records 79 68 45 65 43
LDRD records as percentage of total 49% 44% 52% 53% 47%

Finally, LDRD plays a role in producing the Laboratory’s copyrighted material. From FY12 to FY16, LDRD-supported projects accounted for 28% of the 364 Livermore copyrights. In FY16, there were 72 Livermore copyrights, with 19 (26%) attributable to LDRD research.

Copyrights resulting from LDRD-funded research as a percentage of all LLNL copyrights for the last five fiscal years.
Copyrights FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16
All LLNL copyrights 75 73 76 68 72
LDRD copyrights 18 21 23 21 19
LDRD copyrights as percentage of total 24% 29% 30% 31% 26%

Publications in Scientific Journals

The number of publications in scientific journals generated by LDRD projects demonstrates that this program furthers the progress of the broad scientific and technical community by contributing new scientific results, innovative technologies, and fundamental breakthroughs. In a typical year, LLNL scientists and engineers collectively publish around 1,000 papers in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals. In FY16 there were 1,041 such articles, of which at least 265 (25%) resulted from LDRD projects. Over the last several years, the percentage of LDRD-supported articles has remained relatively consistent, with a 5-year average of 25% of the total Laboratory publications, as shown in the following table.

Journal papers resulting from LDRD-funded research as a percentage of all Livermore papers for the last five fiscal years.
Journal Articles FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16
All LLNL articles 1,016 1,155 985 1,010 1,041
LDRD articles 230 293 245 265 265
LDRD articles as percentage of total 23% 25% 25% 26% 25%


External collaborations are essential to the conduct of research and development in this program. By collaborating formally and informally with other national laboratories, academia, and industry, LDRD investigators gain access to world-class facilities and talent—both in the U.S. and abroad—and serve as active, prominent members of the broad scientific and technical community. By complementing the capabilities and expertise found at LLNL, external collaborations allow for the assemblage of the best teams for pursuing leading-edge research. In addition, LDRD collaborations create strong relationships that are valuable for the Laboratory’s pipeline for recruiting scientific and engineering personnel.

The FY16 portfolio included 64 formal LDRD-funded collaborations involving 45 LDRD projects (25% of the total projects funded). Collaborators came from a range of sectors, predominantly academia. The University of California accounted for 26% of total collaborations, while other academic institutions made up another 65%. Collaborators from government and industry sectors made up 9%. These statistics do not include the numerous informal collaborations that researchers pursue in the course of their LDRD projects.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Because LDRD funds exciting, potentially high-payoff projects at the forefront of science, the Program is essential for recruiting top talent in new and emerging fields of science and technology. In FY16, the LDRD Program supported 107 postdoctoral researchers at an effort of 10% or more, which is 38.5% of 278 postdoctoral researchers at Livermore in FY16. The Laboratory continues significant recruitment efforts to maintain the total number of postdoctoral researchers.