F
Selected Federal Programs That Support Midsize Facilities

DIVISION OF MATERIALS RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The Division of Materials Research (DMR) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) has a broad suite of programs designed to support and enable promising research. Several programs are directly relevant to the challenges and opportunities discussed in this report; the committee offers here a brief description of each, based substantially on and adapted from the online material cited. A key observation is that many of these programs require the applicants to include a detailed description of the instrument operation-and-maintenance plan, and even a statement about how it will be supported. However, none of the programs provides a formal mechanism for NSF follow-up and follow-through after the award has expired.

On average, about 12 percent of the DMR annual budget supports capital equipment purchases, or about $30,000 per year in FY 2003 constant dollars. This support is often provided through the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program or the Instrumentation for Materials Research (IMR) program.1

1  

This section is based on materials supplied by the program office of the Division of Materials Research, National Science Foundation, January 2005.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research F Selected Federal Programs That Support Midsize Facilities DIVISION OF MATERIALS RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION The Division of Materials Research (DMR) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) has a broad suite of programs designed to support and enable promising research. Several programs are directly relevant to the challenges and opportunities discussed in this report; the committee offers here a brief description of each, based substantially on and adapted from the online material cited. A key observation is that many of these programs require the applicants to include a detailed description of the instrument operation-and-maintenance plan, and even a statement about how it will be supported. However, none of the programs provides a formal mechanism for NSF follow-up and follow-through after the award has expired. On average, about 12 percent of the DMR annual budget supports capital equipment purchases, or about $30,000 per year in FY 2003 constant dollars. This support is often provided through the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program or the Instrumentation for Materials Research (IMR) program.1 1   This section is based on materials supplied by the program office of the Division of Materials Research, National Science Foundation, January 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research Major Research Instrumentation The MRI program2 is an NSF-wide program that seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering. It encourages the development and acquisition of research instrumentation for shared inter- and/or intrainstitutional use and in concert with private-sector partners. The MRI program has five goals: Support the acquisition, through purchase, upgrade, or development, of major state-of-the-art instrumentation for research, research training, and integrated research and education activities at institutions; Improve access to and increase the use of modern research and research training instrumentation by scientists, engineers, and graduate and undergraduate students; Enable academic departments or cross-departmental units to create well-equipped learning environments that integrate research with education; Foster the development of the next generation of instrumentation for research and research training; and Promote partnerships between academic researchers and private sector instrument developers. The MRI program assists institutions in the acquisition or development of major research instrumentation that is, in general, too costly to support through other NSF programs. With the change in NSF cost-sharing requirements, the maintenance and technical support associated with these instruments are no longer directly funded. Proposals may be submitted for a single instrument, a large system of instruments, or multiple instruments that share a common or specific research focus. NSF supports the development of the next generation of research instrumentation by encouraging institutions to submit proposals that target instrument development. Individual investigators and teams of researchers are encouraged to apply for instrument development support. DMR usually captures about 10 percent of the funds awarded annually (see Table F.1); the total MRI program has increased to more than $100 million in the 2004 solicitation. The overall proposal success rate for the FY 2003 MRI competition was approximately 40 percent. Awards for instrumentation ranged from 2   This section is based on materials from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program Solicitation: Instrument Development and Acquisition, NSF 05-515. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05515/nsf05515.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research TABLE F.1 History of Major Research Instrumentation Awards Within the Division of Materials Research, 1998-2003 Fiscal Year Total Award Amount ($) Number of Competitive Awards Annual Median (current $) Annual Mean (current $) 2003 12,081,218 31 172,000 234,975 2002 9,903,643 34 127,008 165,690 2001 10,575,436 37 125,155 154,244 2000 6,548,646 19 150,000 177,462 1999 4,926,129 21 132,149 144,131 1998 2,864,990 13 155,793 214,844 NOTES: Because of different cost-sharing levels over time and per institution, these awards are moderately leveraged to acquire equipment. In each year, several single awards were for $1 million or more, although on average, 80 percent of the awards are for $500,000 or less. $100,000 to $2 million. Proposals requesting less than $100,000 were considered only from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions and from the mathematical sciences or the social, behavioral, and economic sciences at any eligible institution. Proposers may request an award period of up to 3 years for acquisition and up to 5 years for development of instrumentation. Within DMR, about 90 percent on average of the MRI award is used directly for capital equipment purchases. Instrumentation for Materials Research The DMR-specific IMR program3 supports the acquisition and/or development of research instruments that will provide new capability and/or advance current capability to (1) discover fundamental phenomena in materials; (2) synthesize, process, and/or characterize the composition, structure, properties, and performance of materials; and (3) improve the quality, expand the scope, and foster and enable the integration of research and education in research-intensive environments. Based on a minimum acquisition cost of $100,000 less the required cost-sharing percentage (exactly 30 percent for Ph.D.-granting institutions and 0 percent otherwise), the minimum award in the IMR program is $70,000 for Ph.D.-granting institutions and $50,000 for non-Ph.D.-granting institutions. Because instrumentation development was recognized as a priority area in 2002, cost-sharing for 3   This section is based on materials from the Instrumentation for Materials Research (IMR) Program Solicitation, NSF 04-503. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2004/nsf04503/nsf04503.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research TABLE F.2 History of Instrumentation for Materials Research Awards in the Division of Materials Research, 1998-2003 Fiscal Year Number of Competitive Awards Annual Median (current $) Annual Mean (current $) Mean Duration (years) 2003 44 147,000 143,074 1.32 2002 45 93,212 110,512 1.66 2001 47 96,708 108,478 1.61 2000 51 91,145 102,608 1.55 1999 41 105,000 128,212 1.58 1998 38 78,619 81,525 1.66 NOTE: About 80 percent of the average award goes directly toward the capital equipment costs for new instrumentation. instrument development projects is in general no longer required. The typical award duration is 1 to 3 years. Each year, 35 to 40 new awards are made, competing for a total of about $7 million (see Table F.2). Instrumentation proposals must discuss arrangements for acquisition, maintenance, operation, use plans, and shared use of the instrument, including: Overall acquisition plan; Biographical sketch of the person(s) who will have overall responsibility for maintenance and operation, and a brief statement of qualifications; Description of the physical facility, including floor plans or other appropriate information, where the equipment will be located; Statement of why the equipment is severable or nonseverable from the physical facility; Plans for the allocation of time on the instrument and the criteria used for allocation; Estimate of the fraction of time the instrument will be used by the various local and other potential users; Detailed plan of how use charges will be assessed (if applicable); Annual budget for operation and maintenance of the proposed equipment, indicating source of funds; and Brief description of other support services available for this instrument, and the annual budget for their operation, maintenance, and administration. NSF applies additional review criteria for the IMR program: essential need for the instrument; impact on infrastructure; the ability of the applicants to operate and maintain the instrument; appropriateness of development plans (as applicable); and relevance to research and education.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research Instrumentation for Materials Research-Mid-Scale Instrumentation Projects Responding to broad needs identified in a report by the National Science Board,4 DMR launched the Instrumentation for Materials Research-Mid-Scale Instrumentation Projects (IMR-MIP) program5 in 2004. The program is designed to support equipment such as beamline instrumentation and high-field magnets with awards between $2 million and $20 million. Two types of proposals are solicited: (1) conceptual and engineering design and (2) construction. The design award enables the proposer to do the necessary engineering design of the instrument. A construction proposal may be submitted only after a satisfactory engineering design of the instrument has been completed and has been approved by both the facility at which the instrument will be situated and by NSF. The program does not provide operating funds for any of the projects it supports through this solicitation. Operational costs must be supported either by the facility at which the instrument is located or through some other source. DMR expected to have $3.5 million available to support this activity in FY 2004 for 3 to 4 awards, and to increase this level of support in future years, depending on the availability of funds. The IMR-MIP program accepts proposals from university researchers for the design and construction of midscale tools for materials research—including equipment for materials characterization or preparation, such as detectors, beam lines, new high-field magnets, or preparation environments—at user facilities supported by NSF or other sources, including the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). For example, these could include proposals for beam-line instrumentation at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). Use by the scientific team that constructs such an instrument is limited to 25 percent of the total time available on that instrument; at least 75 percent is made available to the facility for allocation to other users through the facility’s normal peer review process. To ensure that the facility is willing to entertain such a project, the principal investigators (PIs) for a proposal must attach to the proposal a letter from the facility director stipulating that if the PIs subsequently are successful in obtaining construction funding, the facility will allow construction and will staff and operate the equipment on completion of construction through the operations phase. 4   National Science Board, Science and Engineering Infrastructure for the 21st Century: The Role of the National Science Foundation, NSB 02-190, Arlington, Va.: National Science Foundation, 2003. 5   This section is based on materials from the Instrumentation for Materials Research-Major Instrumentation Projects (IMR-MIP) Program Solicitation, NSF 03-604. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03604/nsf03604.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research Of note is that NSF proposes the use of additional review criteria that mirror DOE’s large facility project approval process using so-called “critical decisions.” Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers The NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program6 was started in 1994. The new program combined elements of the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) and Materials Research Group (MRG) programs while placing additional emphasis on the integration of research and education and the development of partnerships. The MRLs represent one of the first center-based activities at NSF. They were initiated in 1972 when the Interdisciplinary Laboratories, created in 1960 by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of DOD, were transferred to NSF and the NSF DMR was created. The MRG program was started in 1985 to foster interdisciplinary research in smaller group environments. By 1993, just before the MRSEC program was created, NSF supported 10 MRLs and 18 MRGs. The purpose of the MRSEC program is to undertake materials research of a scope and complexity that would not be feasible under traditional funding of individual research projects. NSF support is intended to reinforce the base of individual investigator and small group research by providing the flexibility to address topics requiring an approach of broad scope and duration. To the extent consistent with the size of the center, MRSECs incorporate the following activities: Programs to stimulate interdisciplinary education and the development of human resources (including support for underrepresented groups) through cooperation and collaboration; Active cooperation with industry and other academic institutions to stimulate and facilitate knowledge transfer among the participants and strengthen the links between university-based research and its applications; and Support for shared experimental facilities, properly staffed, equipped, and maintained, and broadly accessible to users. MRSECs may encompass one or more interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs). Each IRG involves several faculty members and associated researchers, addressing a major topic or area in which sustained support for interactive effort is critical to progress. 6   This section is adapted from Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) Program Solicitation, NSF 04-580. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?nsf04580; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research The MRSEC program encompasses 27 different centers with annual support of about $52 million. Awards range from a minimum of $1 million to a maximum of $5 million with a limit of two such awards per institution. Each award is initially for 6 years; renewed NSF support is possible through competitive review in the sixth year of the award. In FY 2002, 3 new MRSECs were added, another 10 existing MRSECs successfully renewed their support, and 2 existing MRSECs were phased out in open competition. The average support for any of the 758 faculty-level participants supported within the MRSEC program in 2003 was approximately $70,000 per year, including support for students, postdoctoral associates, and some equipment, and in some cases summer salary support. It should be noted that two-thirds of all MRSEC faculty do not receive salary support at all. Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials DMR launched the Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials program7 in 2003 “to enhance diversity in materials research education by stimulating the development of long-term collaborative research and education partnerships between minority institutions and DMR-supported groups, centers, and facilities.” Awards of up to $750,000 for 5 years are granted to the minority institution. The PREM proposals are evaluated on the following criteria: Are the goals and mission of the partnership clearly defined and achievable? Is the role of the DMR-supported group, center, or facility clearly stated? Is the planned research and education program sound and feasible? Is the management plan sound? Does the organizational chart contain the appropriate participants? Is the plan for internal assessment of the impact, dissemination of results, and progress of the project reasonable? In 2004, from 30 proposals, 4 were selected. International Materials Institutes Continued progress in materials research depends increasingly on collaborative efforts among chemists, physicists, biologists, mathematicians, and engineers, 7   This section is based on materials from the Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) Program Solicitation, NSF 03-564. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03564/nsf03564.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research as well as closer coordination among funding agencies and effective partnerships involving universities, industry, national laboratories, and international organizations. Because of the rapidly growing interdependence of regional priorities, partnerships are important not only at the national level but also from a global perspective. With this in mind, NSF has co-sponsored a series of international workshops in materials research designed to stimulate enhanced collaborations among materials researchers and create networks linking the participating countries. The International Materials Institutes (IMI) program8 aims to enhance international collaboration between U.S. researchers and educators and their counterparts worldwide. The institutes advance fundamental materials research by coordinating international research and education projects involving condensed matters and materials physics, solid state and materials chemistry, and the design, synthesis, characterization, and processing of materials to meet global and regional needs. The institutes must be university-based and provide a research environment that will attract leading scientists and engineers. A critically important aspect of an international materials institute is its potential impact on advancing materials research on an international scale and developing an internationally competitive generation of materials researchers. This feature helps distinguish an international materials institute from other types of materials research centers that NSF supports. Each international materials institute must address two long-term goals: (1) creating elements of a global materials research network designed to coordinate and support the rapidly growing interdependence of materials research priorities and related activities carried out in all regions of the world and (2) developing a new generation of students, postdoctoral scholars, and materials researchers and educators with enhanced international leadership capabilities. In the 2004 call for proposals, a total of $2.2 million was expected to be available for up to 4 awards at a level of $0.5 million to $1.0 million per year. Awards were for an initial period of up to 5 years. Funding for the fifth year will be contingent upon the outcome of a comprehensive review during the fourth year. As a result of the first IMI competition held in FY 2002, NSF established three international materials institutes. 8   This section is based on materials from the International Materials Institutes (IMI) Program Solicitation: Toward an International Materials Research Network, NSF 03-593. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03593/nsf03593.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIRECTORATE AT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION The Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) in NSF’s Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO) supports two programs that are related to the discussions in this report, the Multi-User Equipment and Instrumentation Resources for Biological Sciences (MUE) program and the Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) program. The annual contribution from these two programs is about $10 million, spread across more than 100 multiyear awards. Multi-User Equipment and Instrumentation Resources for Biological Sciences DBI has maintained an effort that began in the early 1980s to support the purchase of multiuser instrumentation for research in biological sciences, although the program has been suspended and is not currently accepting any new proposals. The MUE program9 provides support for the purchase of major items of instrumentation that will be shared by a number of investigators with actively funded research projects in areas supported by BIO. The MUE program gives priority to proposals that involve multiple identified users with active NSF support. The program supports: The purchase of single items of biological equipment that cost at least $40,000; The establishment of instrumentation resources consisting of several items of equipment with a related purpose, or the purchase of additional equipment for such resources; and Shared computational resources. Applications for workstations and mid-range computing machines dedicated to broad research needs are appropriate as multiuser equipment proposals. Support is not provided for personal computers, personal workstations, or printers. The MUE program requires that proposals include an assurance that the requested instrumentation will be used by a minimum of three independent investigators. Such proposals may describe the research projects of no more than seven major user groups. It is expected that a majority of the major user groups will have outside, peer-reviewed funding and that some of the major users will have active NSF funding. Additional use of this equipment in educational activities is encour- 9   This section is based on materials from the Multi-User Equipment and Instrumentation Resources for Biological Sciences Program Solicitation, NSF 05-534. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05534/nsf05534.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research aged, consistent with the research needs of the proposed projects. The proposed instrumentation must be managed by individuals who are competent to independently operate and use the proposed instrumentation in their individual research. The remaining users may function through collaborations; however, in no case may more than 60 percent of the instrument time be allocated to one research group and its collaborators. The MUE program encourages applications from user groups that include individuals from different departments and institutions. Proposals are required to indicate how the instrument will be supported and managed. Individuals who will be responsible for the instrument must be identified and a mechanism for assuring access to the instrument by all investigators must be described; expertise in use of the equipment must also be provided. A commitment to financially support the continuing operation and maintenance of the instrument is essential. Finally, a replacement plan for equipment with a predictable useful life or duty cycle must be presented. The budget of the MUE program is approximately $3.5 million per year; 20 to 25 standards grants will be awarded in FY 2006, subject to availability of funding. Instrument Development for Biological Research The IDBR program10 supports the development of new instrumentation that will increase the accuracy, range, or sensitivity of observations for BIO research fields. The program provides support for: Development of concept and proof of concept for an entirely novel instrument for biological research; Development of new instruments that provide new capabilities for detection, quantification, or observation of biological phenomena, or significantly extend currently achievable sensitivity or resolution; Novel or significantly improved instruments for the study of biological systems at all levels of organization from the molecular and cellular to organisms, communities, and ecosystems; Improved or novel software for the operation of instruments or the analysis of data or images; and Workshops in emerging areas of instrumentation and instrument development relevant to biological research in areas supported by the Directorate for Biological Sciences. 10   This section is based on materials from the Instrument Development for Biological Research Program Announcement, NSF 05-536. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05536/nsf05536.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research There are no specific limits on the amount of funding that may be requested. The budget should be commensurate with the proposed instrument development research activity. It is not required that individual prototype instruments developed under these awards have multiple users; however, the advances in instrumentation that result from these awards must have future utility to a broad set of potential users in biological research. The IDBR program does not consider proposals for the development or acquisition of specialized items of equipment required for projects that do not aim to develop novel or significantly improved instrumentation for general use. Typical awards are in the range of $150,000 to $250,000 total annual cost for a period of 24 to 36 months, not including the cost of any requested equipment. Renewal proposals, i.e., those requesting continued support of an ongoing project supported through a previous IDBR award, are accepted. Although it is not required that instruments developed under these awards have multiple users, the IDBR program expects that the advances that result from its awards will lead to improved instrumentation that is of use to a broad set of potential users and is likely to lead to significant advances in biological research. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY As part of its mission, DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) plans, constructs, and operates major scientific user facilities to serve researchers from universities, national laboratories, and industry.11 These facilities enable the acquisition of new knowledge that often cannot be obtained by any other means. In the last year, over 9,500 scientists conducted experiments at BES user facilities. Thousands of other researchers collaborate with these users and analyze the data from the experiments at the facilities to publish new scientific findings in peer-reviewed journals. BES—where materials research is supported—does not have a set of specific programs to support generic smaller facilities and instrumentation. However, from first principles, the number of “national user facilities” that are supported is small and almost all are based at the national laboratories. By ticking off the facilities on one’s fingers, one can count four electron beam microcharacterization centers, five nanoscale science research centers, four neutron sources, the four light sources (not small facilities), and five other specialized centers. The total number of “national” user facilities supported in this way by BES is thus 18, plus the 4 light sources. 11   A more detailed description of the BES national user facilities is available online at http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/BESfacilities.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research consultation with the nanoscale research community, largely through workshops that have drawn nearly 2,000 participants from industry, universities, and national laboratories. User programs are being initiated at the NSRCs to give the research community immediate access to their emerging capabilities. Access will be through submission of proposals for peer review. As the centers evolve and mature over the next few years, BES will continue to rely on the research community for guidance. TEAM Project Pioneering developments of aberration-correcting electron optics have created the unprecedented opportunity to directly observe the atomic-scale order, electronic structure, and dynamics of individual nanoscale structures by advanced transmission electron microscopy. It is foreseeable that aberration-corrected electron microscopes exhibiting deep subangstrom resolution with single atom sensitivity and an increased time and energy resolution can be constructed within the next few years. The substantial expense of developing and maintaining such aberration-corrected electron microscopes is beyond the capability of individual investigators or even university centers. DOE’s electron-beam microcharacterization centers propose to lead the development of advanced aberration-corrected electron microscopes in user facilities and provide the necessary infrastructure to make this instrumentation broadly available to the scientific user community. For the past several years, five DOE-supported electron beam microscopy efforts, located at Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, have pursued the development of a next-generation Transmission Electron Aberration-corrected Microscope (TEAM).14 The project was presented to BES in October 2002 and to an external review panel in February 2003. TEAM is guided by a scientific advisory committee. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE The Department of Defense, primarily through the research offices of the service branches and ARPA/DARPA, has been one of the largest supporters of materials research over the last 40 years. Since the purpose of this study is to address midsize facilities, the discussion here is restricted to the DOD funding to 14   Information on the TEAM project can be found online at http://ncem.lbl.gov/team3.htm; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research this topic. Generally the DOD components have not funded infrastructure/facilities, with some notable exceptions. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was the founding agency for the MRL program in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Not only did these laboratories foster collaborative research, but they also provided a suite of central facilities to support the research without the need for an individual investigator to raise funds to set up and support materials analysis and preparation facilities. At some of the universities, such as Cornell, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Stanford, the facilities were quite extensive, covering cryogenic research, MeV particle accelerators, traditional wet chemical analysis, instrumental analysis, optical and electron microscopy, furnaces for materials preparation, and so on. In 1972, there was a transition of the funding to the NSF and DOE. In approximately 1983, DARPA made a second major investment in facilities by establishing three GaAs foundries for the development of GaAs device manufacturing processes. The first was managed by Rockwell Science Center and was responsible for digital Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor development. When the facility was closed, the technology went to Conexant and then to Skyworks. The second facility was operated by McDonald Douglas in Huntington Beach, California, and focused on junction field effect transistors. The third facility was at AT&T and concentrated on heterojunctions and bipolar transistors. The foundries had specific device goals set by their contract but did provide manufacturing services to the III-V community. A third facility program was started by DARPA in 1981, called Metal Oxide Silicon Implementation Service (MOSIS). MOSIS is a low-cost prototyping and small-volume production service for very large scale integrated circuit development. Since 1981, MOSIS has fabricated more than 50,000 circuit designs for commercial firms, government agencies, and research and educational institutions around the world. MOSIS provides designers with a single interface to the constantly changing technologies of the semiconductor industry. Mask generation, wafer fabrication, and device packaging are contracted to leading industry vendors. MOSIS provides microelectronics fabrication services to domestic and foreign educational institutions, companies for pilot projects, and government agencies. From 1985 to 1994, funding came from DARPA, the National Security Agency, NSF, and commercial customers. From 1995 to the present, commercial users pay a sufficient user’s fee that all costs are covered for the institutional users. MOSIS does not fabricate devices itself but collects the designs from the user, directs them to a mask house, and then has the runs done at one of several foundries. It has access not only to conventional Si foundries but also to SOI-SOS and InP capabilities.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research In some cases, DARPA has undertaken research activities mandated by Congress with facilities occasionally involved. Examples are the optoelectronics facilities that were placed at the University of New Mexico, University of Southern California, and Cornell University. Each facility had a contractual set of goals for materials growth and device fabrication. Any services it provided to other institutions were within its contractual purview but fulfilled a secondary purpose. A second congressionally mandated activity was the establishment of a series of materials preparation and analysis centers in Florida. Defense University Research Instrumentation Program The Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP)15 is designed to improve the capabilities of U.S. institutions of higher education to conduct research and educate scientists and engineers in areas important to national defense, by providing funds for the acquisition of research equipment. A central purpose of DURIP is to provide equipment to enhance research-related education. Proposals must address the impact of the equipment on the institution’s ability to educate students, through research, in disciplines important to DOD missions. The FY 2004 call for proposals provided up to $44 million for more than 200 expected awards, with individual grants ranging from $50,000 to $1 million. The previous solicitation made 214 awards worth $43.5 million, averaging about $200,000 each. Cost-sharing is not required. Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative The DOD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI),16 one element of the University Research Initiative, is sponsored by the DOD research offices: the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The MURI program supports basic science and/or engineering research at institutions of higher education that is of critical importance to national defense. The program is focused on multidisciplinary research efforts that intersect more than one traditional science and engineering 15   This section is based on materials from the Department of Defense Program Announcement, Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), Fiscal Year 2006. Available online at http://www.onr.navy.mil/sci_tech/industrial/363/durip.asp; last accessed June 1, 2005. 16   This section is based on materials from the Office of Naval Research Broad Agency Announcement 05-017, Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI). Available online at http://www.onr.navy.mil/02/baa/docs/baa_05-017.pdf; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research discipline. Of the 26 topical areas supported, more than half are materials research related. By supporting multidisciplinary teams, the MURI program is complementary to other DOD basic research programs that support university research through single-investigator awards. The total funding for 5 years available for grants resulting from the FY 2005 program solicitation is estimated at about $135 million, pending out-year appropriations. It is anticipated that the average award will be $1 million per year, with the funding for each award dependent on the scope of the proposed research. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH Included in the broad portfolio of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are several programs that are relevant to a discussion of programmatic support for smaller facilities. P41 Centers NIH oversees the largest federally funded research enterprise in the United States. One of the specified grant mechanisms that it supports is the Biomedical Technology Resource Center Program (P41);17 grants of this type are typically administered through the National Center for Research Resources of the NIH. Designed to provide a multidisciplinary technological infrastructure, the program supports a combination of research, development, collaborative research, service, and information dissemination activities involving a wide range of technologies. These biomedical technology resource centers provide state-of-the-art experimental and computational resources to a wide range of biomedical researchers, particularly those supported by NIH. Each center functions as both a technological and an intellectual resource, with an infrastructure that permits staff scientists to respond rapidly and effectively to emerging biomedical research opportunities. Resource centers provide major, complex, expensive technologies that are difficult for single institutions to acquire and support. While the primary goal of the P41 resource grant is to facilitate sophisticated research and development activities targeting biomedical applications, the multidisciplinary environment of each center stimulates innovation and collaboration among physical scientists, engineers, and 17   This section is based on materials from the National Center for Research Resources, Biomedical Technology Guidelines, 1999, Bethesda, Md.: National Institutes of Health, 1999. Available online at http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/biotech/btguide2.pdf; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research biomedical scientists. The centers also make their technologies available to a user community of biomedical researchers. The technological capabilities of a resource center must be state of the art and not broadly available by other means. The projects served by the new technology must be broad in scope and involve a variety of biomedical research areas. The resource is expected to serve investigators in a wide geographical region. Five required components characterize a biomedical technology resource center: Technological research and development. Research projects conducted at each center involve the development of new technologies, improvement of existing technologies, or discovery of new uses for existing technologies. These investigations are at the cutting edge of the technological field and sometimes involve a degree of calculated risk, with the potential for producing significant gains in the health-related sciences. The R&D projects often are designed to address emerging needs in the biomedical research community. Collaborative research. The staff, who are experts in the center’s technologies, collaborate with outside investigators who specialize in particular biomedical fields and are likely to become routine users of the technologies under development. These collaborations with potential end users help to refine technological tools and methodologies and also identify new applications to biomedical research. Through this feedback process, technologies ultimately may be developed to the point that they are ready for widespread dissemination. Service. Each center provides outside investigators with access to resources for studies that do not involve collaborations with the center’s staff. In these cases, center personnel offer consultation and technical assistance but generally do not share authorship on resulting papers or patents. Nevertheless, resource users are expected to acknowledge use of the center in papers resulting from their projects. Training. Center personnel offer training in the use of the center’s technologies and methods to collaborators, service users, and others in the biomedical community. On a regular basis, the center provides lectures, seminars, and hands-on laboratory experience. It also conducts occasional short courses and workshops, sometimes in conjunction with scientific meetings attended by the user community. Dissemination. To ensure that developed technologies and tools reach the broadest possible scientific user group, each resource center engages in outreach activities, such as presenting research results at meetings, conducting conferences, and producing newsletters or Web sites. Centers that develop and disseminate software emphasize ensuring that the software is

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research portable, well documented, and user friendly. Each center maintains an up-to-date Web site that provides information about its research activities and technologies. A budget ceiling of $700,000 per year in direct costs, excluding equipment costs, and a budget ceiling of $500,000 for equipment for the duration of the requested project are placed on P41 grants. Major equipment purchases (more than $500,000 over the course of the project period) often require support from other sources when the Biomedical Technology Resource Center Program is unable to fund the entire request. In 2002, NIH supported more than 1,260 resource center grants with an overall investment of more than $230 million. There are currently more than 50 specialized biomedical technology resource centers across the country, housed primarily at academic institutions. Joint Shared Instrumentation Grant Program with NSF The NSF MUE program and the NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) program18 encourages applications for joint funding for multiuser high-end instruments. For joint funding consideration at least one principal investigator or 40 percent of the major user groups must have active NSF support. Proposals that request a single instrument with a total purchase cost of more than $500,000, and that would normally be eligible for submission to both NIH and NSF, can be submitted to NIH for joint funding with NSF by including the necessary NSF documentation in the NIH proposal. Such proposals are reviewed by a group convened by NIH with NSF participation. At NIH, the SIG program provides a cost-effective mechanism for groups of NIH-supported investigators to obtain commercially available, technologically sophisticated equipment costing more than $100,000. This program is designed to provide for the acquisition or updating of expensive shared-use instrumentation not generally available through other NIH mechanisms, such as research project, program project, or center grant programs. If the major user group does not require total usage of the instrument, access to the instrument should be made available to other users upon the advice of an internal advisory committee. To promote cost-effectiveness, to encourage optimal sharing among individual inves- 18   This section is based on materials from the NCRR Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program Announcement, PAR-05-028. Available online at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-05-028.html; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research tigators, research groups, and departments, and to foster a collaborative multidisciplinary environment, the instrument should be integrated into a central core facility, whenever possible. An internal advisory committee must be named to assist the principal investigator in administering the grant and overseeing the responsibility for the instrument. The membership of this committee should be broadly based and include members without a conflict of interest who can resolve disputes if they arise. The principal investigator and the advisory committee are responsible for the development of guidelines for: Maximum utilization of the instrument, including time allocation; A detailed plan for the day-to-day management of the instrument; and A financial plan for the long-term operation and maintenance of the instrument during the postaward period. In 2004, the formal cost-sharing mechanism between NSF and NIH expired for this program; however, the SIG program still allows principal investigators to apply to both agencies for support for a large instrument provided that prior arrangements and notifications have been made. NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION Sample Return Laboratory Instrument and Data Analysis Program NASA has recently created a new program that seeks to advance the state of the art in analytical instrumentation and methods. The program awarded its first grants totaling $3.1 million in FY 2002, followed by $7.4 million in FY 2003, $6.8 million in FY 2004, $6.7 million in FY 2005, and an estimated $6.1 million will be awarded in FY 2006. The motivation behind the Sample Return Laboratory Instrument and Data Analysis Program19 is to maximize the scientific return from the samples provided by current and future Discovery-class sample return missions like Genesis (solar wind sample) and Stardust (comet dust). As in an R&A program, individual peer-reviewed proposals are selected for funding. Typical proposals seek to develop new analytical instrumentation or combinations of analytical instruments. Other proposals seek to enhance the capabilities of existing in- 19   Information on the NASA Sample Return Laboratory Instrument and Data Analysis Program can be found online at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument/92/B.6_Sample_Ret._Lab._&_DA.pdf; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research strumentation. The target user base may vary significantly. In some cases, it makes sense to develop instrumentation and techniques that will be used by only a small number of investigators at a single institution. In other cases, the high cost of the instrument and its associated support structure may allow the development of only a limited number of such facilities that must be shared by the entire community. Cost sharing and evidence of a long-term institutional commitment are viewed as important elements of the program. NATIONAL NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE An important element of the future for materials research is the emphasis on nanotechnology. Although the initiative is still unfolding, and new programs and avenues for investment are still being developed, it represents such a significant national priority that it deserves discussion here. The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI)20 originated in President Clinton’s FY 2001 budget request that included a $225 million (83 percent) increase in the federal government’s investment in nanotechnology research and development. The Bush administration has continued to make the NNI a top science and technology priority since then. The initiative supports long-term nanoscale research and development leading to potential breakthroughs in areas such as materials and manufacturing, nanoelectronics, medicine and health care, environment, energy, chemicals, biotechnology, agriculture, information technology, and national security. The initiative, which nearly doubled the nanoscale R&D investment over FY 2000, supports a broad range of scientific disciplines including material sciences, physics, chemistry, and biology and creates new opportunities for interdisciplinary research. Agencies participating in the NNI include NSF, DOD, DOE, NIH, NASA, and the Department of Commerce’s NIST. Roughly 70 percent of the new funding proposed under the NNI will go to university-based research to help meet the growing demand for workers with nanoscale science and engineering skills. A key component of the implementation plan for the NNI is a coordinated strategy for the development of 10 centers and networks of excellence. DOE’s NSRCs mentioned above are one avenue for this investment, and the NSF’s NNIN (below) is another. 20   Information on the National Nanotechnology Initiative can be found online at http://www.nano.gov/html/about/funding.html and http://www.ostp.gov/html/budget/2006/One-Pagers/FY06NationalNanotechnologyInitiative1-pager.pdf; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network As part of the NNI, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN)21 was formed in early 2004 through an NSF-sponsored competition. NNIN is an integrated partnership of 13 user facilities providing broad opportunities for nanoscience and nanotechnology research. The network provides extensive support in nanoscale fabrication, synthesis, characterization, modeling, design, computation, and hands-on training. To the extent that NNIN represents a nationally coordinated scheme for pooling resources and leveraging individual contributions, the committee considered it as an example in its deliberations. NNIN is still in the initial stages of development (the award was officially made in March 2004), however; plans for the implementation of the winning proposal are discussed here. Scope of the NNIN The network, through complementary strengths, will provide on-site and remote external-user access to advanced top-down processing and bottom-up synthesis and self-assembly, comprehensive integration capabilities for multistep processes, state-of-the-art characterization for hard and soft materials, the development of tools and techniques, and a comprehensive Web and computation infrastructure. The network will allow straightforward user access that enables a diversity of projects efficiently and at low cost. NNIN facilities will be operated as open, hands-on user facilities, available to all qualified users. The computation and Web-based infrastructure will provide a centralized resource for organizing and distributing the rapidly growing knowledge base at the foundation of nanoscience and engineering. Education, human development, outreach, and societal and ethical studies components are thoroughly integrated throughout the network. The goals are to spread the benefits of nanotechnology to new disciplines, to educate a dynamic workforce in advanced technology, and to become a teaching resource in nanotechnology for people of all ages and educational backgrounds. Network-based education and information tools and comprehensive local hands-on activities will be developed to achieve these objectives. NNIN will also support an infrastructure and research environment to promote consideration of the societal and ethical consequences of nanotechnology, cover- 21   Information on the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network can be found online at http://www.nnin.org and http://www.nnin.org/doc%5Cnninbrochuresmall.pdf; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research ing economic, political, educational, environmental, health, legal, security, and cultural implications. Key Elements NNIN is distinguished from the previous National Nanofabrication Users Network in its scope and size; the new network consists of 13 different participating institutions encompassing all aspects of nanoscience and technology, whereas the former had only 6 participants and focused exclusively on fabrication. Similarly, NNIN is different from the older Microelectromechanical Systems Exchange program because it is more focused on science and technology research as opposed to process engineering and service. Two elements of the network are relevant to the work of this committee: (1) the emphasis on developing the “nodes” of the network as fully outfitted, extremely capable user centers to leverage the activities of any one research and (2) the effort to nationally link and coordinate activities at the diverse array of centers hosting the network. In truth, the network is viewed by NSF more as a distributed large facility (indeed, “networks” in general are moving toward the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account line) than as a set of individual autonomous entities that collaborate on self-steering. The standards usage and access policies for the nodes, once developed and released, should serve as good models for user- and service-oriented facilities, since the network is intended to be of service to the nation. Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers Recently, NSF established the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSEC)22 program across all directorates as part of the NNI. Eight centers are currently supported under the NSEC program, many of which bridge multiple institutions, at more than $18 million per year. The 2004 NSEC competition added another six such centers. The NSEC program addresses opportunities that are too complex and multifaceted for individuals or small groups of researchers to tackle on their own. Centers in the program bring together researchers with diverse expertise—in partnership with industry, government laboratories, and/or partners from other 22   This section is based on materials from the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSEC) Program Solicitation, NSF 03-043. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03043/nsf03043.htm#nsec; last accessed June 1, 2005.

OCR for page 189
Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research sectors—to address complex, interdisciplinary challenges in nanoscale science and engineering, and will integrate research with education both internally and through a variety of partnership activities. Each center, whether based at a single institution or distributed across a number of institutions, must have an overarching research and education theme, well-integrated programs, and a coherent and effective management plan. The NSEC program centers as a whole will span the range from exploratory research—focused on discovery—to technology innovation and will involve a broad spectrum of disciplines such as engineering, mathematics and computer science, and the physical, biological, environmental, social and behavioral sciences. The scope of individual centers and the disciplines involved in them will vary. Each NSEC award is in the range from about $1 million to $4 million per year for 5 years, depending on the scope of the work proposed. NSEC program centers will be eligible to compete for one 5-year renewal. Awards are made as cooperative agreements. Cost sharing at a level equal to 10 percent of the total amount requested from NSF is required. Centers may be based at a single U.S. academic institution or may consist of a lead institution in partnership with one or more partner institutions. Other Another facility program in this category is SEMATECH. This group in Austin, Texas, provided a central location for semiconductor equipment manufacturers to develop and test their equipment while the process engineers who used the equipment were sent to SEMATECH from member companies. This arrangement was very successful, and the program did much to strengthen the U.S. position in equipment manufacturing. Funding for this organization was subsequently provided first by the U.S. semiconductor industry and later with international support. Generally, industry contributions have not established facilities for general use but have primarily supported single and groups of investigators. Now SEMATECH has spun off its fabrication and analysis facilities as the Advanced Technology Development Facility.