Cultivating innovation

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

A new initiative has been launched at Fermilab: the DOE-sponsored Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, or LDRD.

As a participant in LDRD, Fermilab will join other national laboratories in setting aside funds each year for small-scale, proof-of-principle or innovative research projects in science and technology. These funds are open to Fermilab employees who propose to become the principal investigator of an LDRD project. LDRD projects are awarded based on a competitive review process of proposals. The projects must be relevant to the mission of DOE and Fermilab, address innovative science and technology, and must be outside the existing scope of current programmatic activities and projects.

The LDRD program aims to foster creative scientific and technological thinking at the national laboratories and enable those with such innovative ideas to try them out.

William Wester has been appointed as the LDRD coordinator. He will discuss the details of this program in a lunchtime meeting today from noon-1 p.m. in One East. William is responsible for working within the DOE framework of the program and coordinating the review panel and other activities required to make this opportunity available. Other information is available on the LDRD Web page. The first call for LDRD proposals has gone out, and preliminary proposals are due May 9. Full proposals will be due May 23. We expect to announce the next call for proposals early in FY15.

The Fermilab community boasts creative thinkers and problem solvers among its members. Your ideas could lead to the next big technological breakthrough for science and society, one that will become part of the future of Fermilab. We look forward to the discoveries and seeing the new concepts that get tested under this program.