By almost any measuring stick, the LDRD Program contributes far more in intellectual property, publications, collaborations, and recruitment of postdoctoral researchers, dollar for dollar, than any other program at the Laboratory.
For instance, in FY17, LDRD costs at Livermore were $92.5M, 6% of the total Laboratory base; yet direct funded programs yielded approximately half the Laboratory’s patents. This section presents 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.
Year after year, projects sponsored by LDRD achieve a disproportionate percentage of the patents and copyrights issued for LLNL research. As illustrated in the following tables, LDRD has been key in developing nearly half of the Laboratory patents, over a quarter of Laboratory copyrights (chiefly computer code), and about half of the Laboratory’s records of invention.Patents resulting from LDRD-funded research as a percentage of all Livermore patents for the last five fiscal years.
|All LLNL patents||84||105||196||97||88|
|LDRD patents as percentage of total||52%||44%||48%||56%||63%|
|Records of Invention||FY13||FY14||FY15||FY16||FY17|
|All LLNL records||156||86||122||91||110|
|LDRD records as percentage of total||44%||52%||53%||47%||48%|
|All LLNL copyrights||73||76||68||72||105|
|LDRD copyrights as percentage of total||29%||30%||31%||26%||18%|
Laboratory scientists and engineers publish about a thousand papers each year in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals, of which LDRD-funded work consistently accounts for a large portion. For each year listed in the following table, the number of LDRD-derived publications should be considered a minimum value and the true value larger, because the long-term impact of LDRD investments is manifest in publications that may appear long after the project has ended.Journal papers resulting from LDRD-funded research as a percentage of all Livermore papers for the last five fiscal years.
|All LLNL articles||1,155||985||1,010||1,041||1,126|
|LDRD articles as percentage of total||25%||25%||26%||25%||24%|
External collaborations are essential to the conduct of research and development in LDRD. By working formally and informally with other national laboratories, academia, and industry, LDRD investigators access leading facilities and knowledge in the U.S. and abroad. Recent data on formal collaborations, defined as those in which an external collaborator received LDRD funds from LLNL, are given in the following table. Informal collaborations, in which the LLNL principal investigator and team intend to publish their work jointly with external collaborators, provide an indication perhaps of the broad intellectual engagement and scientific benefit of LDRD collaboration. Of the 215 projects in 2017, 63 (about 29%) specified formal collaborations, involving a total of 48 institutions.
By funding exciting, potentially high-payoff projects at the frontiers of science, the LDRD Program attracts top talent in new and emerging fields of science and technology. As shown in the following table, LDRD investments contribute to the health and robustness of LLNL’s student and postdoctoral researcher programs.
|Students and Postdoctoral Researchers||FY13||FY14||FY15||FY16||FY17|
|Students supported by LDRD||50||67||1,010||102||127|
|Percentage of all students||13%||18%||23%||19%||22%|
|Postdoctoral researchers supported by LDRD ≥10% of their time||123||95||102||107||137|
|Percentage of postdoctoral researchers||51%||68%||43%||25%||44%|
|Postdoctoral researchers converted to full staff||37||27||35||25||31|
|Percentage of all convertions||79%||68%||90%||69%||53%|
The R&D 100 Awards, presented annually by R&D Magazine for almost fifty years, are the Oscars of the research and development world, honoring the technical significance, uniqueness, and usefulness of the year’s most promising new products, processes, materials, and software.
Since 1978, the Laboratory has received over 150 R&D 100 Awards, 90 of them for LDRD-supported projects—a record even more impressive considering that LDRD was instituted at the Laboratory ten years after it started receiving the award. This well-regarded competition provides objective, if informal, validation of the quality and significance of LDRD-funded research.
|R&D 100 Awards||FY13||FY14||FY15||FY16||FY17|
|All A&D 100 Awards||5||4||3||3||3|
|Percentage of total||40%||50%||67%||33%||33%|