Happy New Year! As we continue to make our way through the pandemic, I want to thank each of you for your perseverance and hard work in challenging circumstances. Please continue to stay healthy and productive; we see light at the end of the tunnel.
With the hope of better days ahead and with the start of the new year, my thoughts turn to opportunity. I believe that the Lab is in a wonderful place today to take advantage of, as well as to create, many exciting opportunities.
The Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program is one of the principal means at the Lab to seed innovative science and new research directions. It is an opportunity that you should consider if you have an idea for an out-of-the-box research project that supports the Lab’s and the DOE’s strategic priorities. Proposals are due March 22. A story below features how LDRD helped get Ravi Prasher’s thermal energy research off the ground. In his January message, Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar included how LDRD funded the early work of now-Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna in gene editing.
Despite the challenges that the pandemic has brought, it has also provided us opportunities to conduct leading-edge research. Many of you have been thinking about these opportunities for a while — these musings have been gathered and further developed by a group led by Katy Christiansen, into a SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 strategic plan. If you missed the brown bags that Katy held on this topic, I encourage you to read the plan and view the recorded presentation.
Another opportunity that has been on the minds of many of our research scientists, and on my mind personally, is the opportunity to pursue new approaches to semiconductor research. Moore’s Law, which describes the continued advances in microelectronics we have enjoyed the last decades, is now running dry. We have to look for other science and technology wells to tap. If you are interested in this topic, attend the Beyond Moore’s Law Distinguished Lectures, which are being scheduled over the next months.
Opportunity comes with responsibility — the responsibility to manage our integrity and our reputation. The Research Integrity Office works to ensure that the Lab continues its leadership in ethical research behavior and appropriately manages conflicts of interest. Joerg Heber, who joined us in December, and Molly Stoufer, will be working with me and the entire Lab community to develop and implement best practices in research integrity. Listen in on a recent conversation I had with Joerg on this topic.
Also on my mind are sustainability practices at the Lab; the fires of last summer have underscored the impact that our environment has on each of us, and the impact each of us has on the environment. The Lab continues to work to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible, as well as reduce the Lab’s waste and water footprint, while maximizing support to the Lab’s research mission. Lab employees can now weigh in on the new Plan for a Sustainable Berkeley Lab, coordinated by the Sustainable Berkeley Lab team. This plan describes the full range of current and planned sustainability activities at Berkeley Lab through 2025. Please take the time to read the plan and provide feedback via this Google form, and to review the steps we all can take to contribute to these sustainability efforts.
I hope this year brings all of you the opportunities you wish for.
Deputy Laboratory Director for Research
Chief Research Officer
|LDRD Proposals are Due March 22
The Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) call for proposals for FY2022 is out! For this cycle, the LDRD program will be returning to three funding tracks: Early Career Development, Area Initiative, and Lab-wide Initiative proposals. Specific topics or areas of interest for each of the three tracks are outlined in this call for proposals. Multi-investigator and multi-divisional initiatives are particularly encouraged.
The Thermal Energy Group: Success Sparked by the LDRD Program
The LDRD program is one of the principal means at the Lab to seed innovative science and new research directions. As the Lab approaches a new LDRD program cycle, Ravi Prasher contemplates how it sparked the success of an idea he had many years ago.
Beyond Moore’s Law Distinguished Lecture Series: Intel’s Dmitri Nikonov, Jan 29
With the exponential gains of Moore’s Law coming to an end, further significant progress in semiconductor innovation requires fundamental research. To explore the types of research Berkeley Lab may explore, the Beyond Moore’s Law Journal Club is hosting monthly lectures by influencers in semiconductor research to stimulate the Lab community’s thinking about the next phase of semiconductor advancement. Its January 15 lecture featured spintronics expert Bernard Dieny and the January 29 event will highlight Intel’s Dmitri Nikonov.
Read more about how the lecture series came about.
ESnet Quantum Networking Tech Talk: Predicting and Controlling Quantum Systems to Enable Scalable Quantum Networks, Jan 29
Quantum networks are expected to enable transformative technologies with wide-ranging global impact. Quantum architecture at the scale needed to enable a quantum internet would consist of interconnected physical systems, many operating at their individual quantum limit. Scalable quantum architecture requires modeling that accurately describes these mesoscopic, hybrid phenomena across qubit modalities, such that system-wide performance can be accurately predicted and optimized.
Prineha Narang, Assistant Professor at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, will present her team’s work in predicting and controlling quantum systems, the building blocks of this scalable architecture. See this page for more detail and to RSVP.
This is the first of a series of ESnet sponsored quantum networking talks.
Research Integrity Office: A Conversation with Joerg Heber and Horst Simon
The Lab aims to adhere to the highest standards of research integrity and ethical behavior. Listen in as Joerg Heber, the Lab’s new Research Integrity Officer and Horst Simon discuss their thoughts on and the Lab’s plans for the Research Integrity Office (11 minutes).
Intellectual Property Office reminder: Submit your invention and software disclosures!
Are you developing new technology that might have commercial value or software that you’d like to release to the public? Submitting a record of invention or software disclosure with the Intellectual Property Office is the first step to protecting your intellectual property. Once you have submitted a record of invention, IPO staff will work with you to understand and implement the best way to bring your science solution to the world.
When to submit a record of invention:
Submit your Record of Invention at https://ipo.lbl.gov/discloseinventions/.
When to submit a software disclosure:
Submit your Software Disclosure at https://ipo.lbl.gov/disclosesoftware/.
Contact IPO staff with questions.
Expedite Processing of your Sponsored Proposal
Many sponsored proposals require Export Control Review prior to award. Export Control Review is performed by the Export Compliance Office on proposals with foreign sponsors (whether they are direct, prime, or lead sponsors) and proposals where National and Homeland Security questions are answered “yes.”
To expedite the approvals of your sponsored proposal, you should:
To help you navigate these requirements, the eSRA Team has prepared this reference guide.