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Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs (1998)

Chapter:Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
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Appendix A
Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model1

OST's Technology Investment Decision Model is a procedure OST developed to provide a common basis on which to assess and manage the performance, expectations, and trasition of technologies through the development process (Paladino and Longsworth, 1995). It is a user-oriented decision-making process for managing technology development and linking technology development activities with cleanup operations. It should be noted that the TIDM procedure has been documented by OST, but although OST does use the overall TIDM framework to track its projects, OST as a whole has not yet adopted this approach in its decision making.

The TIDM identifies six R&D stages from basic research2 through implementation of a technology (see Figure 4.1). At each stage, specific criteria, requirements, and deliverables form a common basis for technology assessment. In the model, stages are separated by "gates"—decision points at which projects are evaluated for funding of the next stage. The "stage-gate" process is meant to provide for evaluation of projects at all stages of development against technical and nontechnical criteria selected to ensure that the technologies developed will

1  

The material in this appendix is based on OST's descriptions of its procedures, not on the committee's evaluation.

2  

Since 1996, OST has funded "mission-directed" basic research through the Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP). Unlike many basic research programs, EMSP is explicitly focused on DOE's environmental management problems. The specific objective of this program is to improve the long-term effectiveness of DOE's cleanup effort by involving basic researchers from universities, national laboratories, and the private sector in long-term research to address DOE's most challenging environmental management problems.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×

provide superior performance, will meet the acceptance requirements of the intended customers, and can be moved into the marketplace.

At each gate of the TIDM, OST's FA/CC program managers are responsible for evaluating a technology's documentation in accordance with the appropriate criteria. Programmatic driver criteria to enter each stage include technology end user need; technical merit; cost; safety, health, environmental protection, and risk; stakeholder, regulatory, and tribal issues; and commercial viability. If the FA/CC program manager determines that the technology warrants passing through a gate, the technology maturation process will continue. If the program manager determines that the technology does not warrant further consideration, funding is discontinued. The six stages (and gates) and a description of each, including goals, objectives, and measures of effectiveness, follow.

The following material was adapted from DOE's Technology Decision Process Procedure (DOE, 1997); and from "Maximizing R&D Investments in the Department of Energy's Environmental Cleanup Program" by Paladino and Longsworth (1995). See also Figure 4.1.

Technology Investment Decision Model

Stage 1: Basic Research

In Stage 1, fundamental scientific research for building and documenting core knowledge not tied to a specific defined need is evaluated, with the goal of generating new ideas. Objectives at this stage include identifying a new environmental technology or use of good science. Activities at this stage consist of basic laboratory experimentation, development of theory and analytical models, and proof of principle. The effectiveness of a project at Stage 1 is measured by whether it satisfies a subset of the programmatic driver criteria: specifically, technology and user need; technical merit; cost; and safety, health, environmental protection, and risk.

Gate 1: Entrance into Applied Research Stage

At this gate, projects addressing national interests and environmental performance needs enter the applied research stage. The technology developer or principal investigator (TD/PI) must address the programmatic driver criteria listed above.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×

Stage 2: Applied Research

In the applied research stage, directed scientific or engineering research is conducted that has a link to remediation needs and results in a product concept. The goal is to conduct systems studies to address DOE priority needs. Research conducted includes proof-of-principle and lab-scale experimentation, with the objectives of defining data requirements, preparing experimental designs, determining material requirements, and determining business attributes. Project effectiveness at this stage is measured in terms of whether the project satisfies experimental design plan acceptance criteria and all of the programmatic driver criteria.

Gate 2: Entrance into Exploratory Development Stage

Gate 2 is a major decision point in the stage-gate model. At this gate, the TD/PI must show that the technology addresses a clearly defined DOE priority cleanup or waste management need and satisfies experimental design criteria. The TD/PI must also demonstrate knowledge of similar technology R&D activities taking place in other federal agencies, universities, industry, or international organizations to help information sharing, encourage cooperative relationships, and eliminate redundant research efforts. In addition, at Gate 2 the TD/PI initiates a comparison of the technology with the baseline and addresses the gate programmatic driver criteria.

Stage 3: Exploratory Development

The goal of the exploratory development, stage is to conduct a systems study to address focus area priority needs. The technical feasibility of the project in terms of potential applications is evaluated (i.e., whether the technology can be developed sufficiently to solve the problem), with the objective of verifying that the concept can be linked to specific needs. Project activities at this stage includes laboratory-scale prototyping, analysis of user needs, estimates of lifecycle costs, and identification of functional performance requirements and operational concepts. The effectiveness of the project is measured by whether (1) it continues to satisfy experimental design plan acceptance criteria; (2) experimental performance meets program expectations; and (3) programmatic driver criteria are met.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×

Gate 3: Entrance into Advanced Development Stage

At this gate, the technology must be shown to be linked with clearly defined DOE or private-sector priority performance needs. Also, the TD/PI continues the baseline comparison and addresses gate programmatic driver criteria.

Stage 4: Advanced Development

The goal of Stage 4 is to show a specific DOE application of the product. A proof of design is required, and development includes full-scale laboratory testing, preliminary field testing, technical specification development, and infrastructure development plans. The objectives at this stage are assessment and validation of the technology's specifications and application by a review group. Effectiveness at this stage is measured by whether the application specifications satisfy the external review group's assessment, and whether programmatic driver criteria are met.

Gate 4: Entrance into Engineering Development Stage

Gate 4 is a major decision point, at which a review group completes an evaluation of information supplied by the focus area, TD/PI, and others to assess whether the technology is the right technology, in the right place, at the right time. The deliverables produced by the TD/PI address gate programmatic driver criteria and include a cost-benefit analysis showing the anticipated benefits of cost savings and risk avoidance, and strategies for DOE deployment, commercialization, cost sharing, regulatory compliance, and licensing. DOE's approval of expenditure at this gate depends on the commitment of an end user to implement the technology.

Stage 5: Engineering Development

At this stage, knowledge gained from R&D is used to develop systematically a detailed approach for full-scale design. The goal is classification of the technology as likely to exceed DOE baseline or to meet select government performance requirements or a problem set. Objectives at this stage include scaling up and refining detailed designs for prototypes and pilots, and clarifying

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×

the DOE deployment strategy and schedules to meet performance needs. This stage of development yields drawings, schematics, and computer codes; construction and demonstration units; prototypes and pilot-scale systems; system evaluation; reliability testing; infrastructure plans; and procurement specifications. Effectiveness is measured by the results of completed and documented preliminary tests, successful test plans, and satisfied programmatic driver criteria.

Gate 5: Entrance into Demonstration Stage

At Gate 5, the DOE deployment schedule is established. In addition, the TD/PI must address gate programmatic driver criteria, complete and document preliminary test results, and demonstrate that test plan requirements have been satisfied

Stage 6: Demonstration

In Stage 6, the product or technology is subjected to a ''real-world'' demonstration, either at a DOE site or at another location, using actual waste streams and/or anticipated operating conditions with the goal of verifying design assumptions made up to this point. Objectives include conducting full-scale testing, system testing, and market conditioning to determine system suitability. Effectiveness is measured through programmatic driver criteria and acceptance of the technology by the end user.

Gate 6: Entrance into Implementation Stage

To pass through Gate 6, the results of the technology or system test must be fully documented. The technology partner must be fully invested (i.e., the procurement path is defined), and gate programmatic driver criteria must be engaged fully. In addition, implementation and commercialization viability must be defined clearly according to accepted business standards.

Stage 7: Implementation

At Stage 7, the product or technology has been proven to be viable, cost-effective, and applicable to required needs. The technology, if developed by

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×

OST, is put into service by DOE and/or the end user and/or is transferred to the private sector. If not developed by OST, the technology is already commercially available. An end user signs a contract or approves operational use of the technology.

The TIDM incorporates several essential principles that DOE believes should be maintained:

  1. Developers have to understand and address the needs and dynamics of the marketplace early in the innovation process.
  2. Decision criteria must encompass both technical and nontechnical factors.
  3. Formal decision points should provide the mechanism for determining investments in selected projects.
  4. Decisions should reflect an EM R&D investment strategy.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×
Page97
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×
Page98
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×
Page99
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×
Page100
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×
Page101
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Description of OST's Technology Investment Decision Model." National Research Council. 1998. Peer Review in Environmental Technology Development Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6408.
×
Page102
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