4

Cooperative Stewardship Model

The models for managing user facilities—the simple steward and steward-partner models—have been in place since the early 1980s1 and have been satisfactory for the provision of facility resources to the scientific community. They are, however, under pressure at the present time.

As discussed in Chapter 2, this pressure is due to the rapid growth in the number of users, the growing diversity of their scientific interests, and financial constraints. In particular, at synchrotron facilities there has been a significant increase in the fraction of users carrying out research in the life sciences. Because the life sciences are largely outside the traditional missions of most stewards and because many of the new users require more facility and staff support than the traditional users, this growth has raised questions about the identity of the appropriate stewards and sources of funding for the facilities. Financial constraints have also impeded funding for state-of-the-art instrumentation at the neutron facilities, so much so that some neutrons produced by the cores may not be optimally used (BESAC, 1993).

The long-standing problem at the nation’s user facilities of obtaining sufficient funds to both upgrade the existing facilities and operate them at efficient levels have been exacerbated by needs resulting from current trends in facility usage. In the early to mid-1990s, the decline in constant dollars of the facility

1  

The models, with their mixture of facility-supported and private-sector-supported beamlines, were described as “reasonably successful” by the Major Materials Facilities Committee in 1984 (NRC, 1984).



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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields 4 Cooperative Stewardship Model The models for managing user facilities—the simple steward and steward-partner models—have been in place since the early 1980s1 and have been satisfactory for the provision of facility resources to the scientific community. They are, however, under pressure at the present time. As discussed in Chapter 2, this pressure is due to the rapid growth in the number of users, the growing diversity of their scientific interests, and financial constraints. In particular, at synchrotron facilities there has been a significant increase in the fraction of users carrying out research in the life sciences. Because the life sciences are largely outside the traditional missions of most stewards and because many of the new users require more facility and staff support than the traditional users, this growth has raised questions about the identity of the appropriate stewards and sources of funding for the facilities. Financial constraints have also impeded funding for state-of-the-art instrumentation at the neutron facilities, so much so that some neutrons produced by the cores may not be optimally used (BESAC, 1993). The long-standing problem at the nation’s user facilities of obtaining sufficient funds to both upgrade the existing facilities and operate them at efficient levels have been exacerbated by needs resulting from current trends in facility usage. In the early to mid-1990s, the decline in constant dollars of the facility 1   The models, with their mixture of facility-supported and private-sector-supported beamlines, were described as “reasonably successful” by the Major Materials Facilities Committee in 1984 (NRC, 1984).

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields budgets forced some facilities to reduce their hours of operation. 2 In 1996, to increase both operating time and staffing levels, DOE received extra funding through a special facilities initiative.3 As a result of this initiative, for example, the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source at Argonne National Laboratory reported that beam time available to users increased by 50%.4 More recently, strains on steward budgets have been addressed by a novel cost-sharing arrangement between DOE and NIH for an upgrade of the core at SSRL and NSLS that was the result of interagency cooperation on issues of mutual concern (Service, 1999) (see Box 4.1). However, while ad hoc solutions to recurring problems have appeared in the past, they do not resolve what seems certain to be a continuing problem. Given the desirable characteristics of the current simple steward and steward-partner models, the committee believes their basic outlines should be retained. However, there are issues arising from budgetary constraints and changes in the user communities that transcend the purview of any single steward agency. There is, therefore, a need for stability in steward-partner agency coordination.5 In this chapter the committee articulates the elements of the basic steward-partner model, along with a proposed mechanism to enhance interagency cooperation. The committee calls this the cooperative stewardship model. MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES There are two components to multidisciplinary user facilities: the core of the facility and the individual experimental units, and this division leads to a natural division of management responsibilities (Box 4.2). Responsibility for the core components should reside with the steward. Responsibility for the experimental units, including the training and support of new users, could also reside with the steward; alternatively, it could reside with the sponsors of the experimental units, the partners, which could be either other government agencies or organizations in the private sector. For synchrotron radiation facilities, the core includes the storage ring, the injector, and the buildings that house the facility; for neutron sources it includes the reactor or spallation source, the guidehalls, and the buildings; for the magnet lab it is the high-field magnets. The steward’s responsibility for the core includes construction, operation, research and development, upgrades, central support laboratories, staffing, and training. 2   Facility operating budgets are dominated by fixed expenses; a relatively small proportion of the budgets is discretionary spending, which affects the services users care most about. When overall budgets are reduced, user services are affected disproportionately. 3   DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences Division, the steward of many of the user facilities, received an increase of some $57 million per year for the facilities, a substantial portion of which went into facility operating budgets. A smaller portion was used to upgrade experimental instrumentation and to fund competitive research proposals. Iran Thomas, DOE, personal communication, June 1999. 4   Bruce Brown, IPNS, in a presentation to the committee. 5   Several recent reports have called for greater interagency cooperation to increase operating efficiency at the facilities. See, for example, Structural Biology Synchrotron Users Organization (1997) and BESAC (1997).

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields BOX 4.1 Description of the OSTP Working Group on Structural Biologyat Synchrotron Radiation Facilities (Cassman Committee) Participants: Steward and partner agencies that support research in structural biology at synchrotron radiation facilities (NSF, a NIH, b DOE, c NIST). Issue: Increasing demand for synchrotron radiation for x-ray crystallography of biological materials. Rationale: The awareness at the highest levels of NIH that continued progress in achieving its scientific mission depends on the availability of state-of-the-art synchrotron facilities. Background: Recognition that life sciences occupy a large fraction of synchrotron beam time (~30%). Convener: OSTP—to provide a neutral venue and a facilitating function. Input: Prior studies (BERAC, 1998; BESAC, 1997; Structural Biology Synchrotron Users Organization, 1997). Action: Recommendations for staffing, equipment, instrument development, access, and facility upgrades. Future: Continue to monitor existing interagency efforts, consider new opportunities, and address other needs. a Directorate for Biological Sciences. b National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Center for Research Resources. c Office of Basic Energy Sciences and Office of Biological and Environmental Research. BOX 4.2 Steward-Partner Model for User Facilities Steward Responsibility: Core Facility Construction Operation Facility performance reviews Participating research team performance reviews Facility upgrades and R&D Laboratories (general) General training (e.g., safety and general facilities) Facility staffing User support for facility-related issues Partner Responsibility: Individual Experimental Units(Subfacilities and Beamlines) Construction Operation Laboratories (wet labs, cold rooms, etc.) Instrumentation (development, upgrades, and provision) Training (for users at subfacilities and beamlines) User support for experiment-related issues

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields The nature of the experimental units depends on facility type. For synchrotrons, an individual experimental unit may be a specific beamline and its associated instrumentation or a set of beamlines, typically associated with one sector of the storage ring. For neutron facilities, experimental units could be the instrumentation associated with a specific port. For the magnet lab, they are the instrumentation associated with the different magnets. For neutron and photon facilities, there are ancillary facilities (e.g., sample preparation rooms and cold rooms) that are part of the experimental units. If the individual experimental units are sufficiently large they too may become involved in subfacility construction and operation, training, and the pertinent laboratories. Role of the Steward The steward should be the sole operating authority for a user facility. This means that management responsibility for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and upgrading of the core of that facility rests with the steward. Additional stewardship responsibility extends to general policy issues, such as user agreements, intellectual property rights, performance evaluation, and safety training for users, as well as the coordination of strategic and financial planning with partner agencies. The decision to terminate a facility also resides with the steward. One agency or division of a federal agency may be the steward of several facilities. Alternatively, each individual facility may have a separate steward. Ideally, Congress should ensure that sufficient resources are available to enable the stewards to provide stable operation of its core facilities in and beyond their mission areas. If this mode of funding cannot be achieved, cost-sharing arrangements to support upgrades or even operating expenses of the core facility may need to be negotiated among steward and partner agencies. (See the “Funding Responsibilities” section of this chapter.) The steward should have the experience, culture, and infrastructure to manage its stewardships. Its mission should be to advance, apply, and promulgate the science and technology that support its facility. Advancement is achieved by the support of an in-house scientific research program to enhance the science and technology required to deliver high-quality beams of photons or neutrons, or high magnetic fields. Application is achieved through the support of a robust in-house program in basic research that uses the output of the facility. Promulgation is achieved through education and training programs and staff support for inexperienced users. In addition, because the stewardship model works best when the

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields steward has significant programmatic interest in the research performed at the facility, the steward should support research programs in these areas. As described earlier, the fastest-growing user segment at many synchrotron facilities—life scientists—is pursuing research interests that are outside the traditional mission of the steward. If the trend continues, a possible change in facility stewardship to an agency whose mission is more congruent with the scientific interests of the predominant user community may become appropriate. The cooperative stewardship model proposed here provides mechanisms to address this issue. (See the “Interagency Responsibilities” section of this chapter.) The identification of the proper steward does not, however, diminish the advantage of a single steward. Role of the Partners Partners are user funding organizations that have become stakeholders in decisions concerning the facilities. These decisions include the need for a facility, the siting of the facility, necessary user instrumentation, R&D for facility improvement, beamline construction, and all aspects of facility performance evaluation. Partners also have a stake in assuring the continuation of operations at a facility the steward no longer wishes to support. Partners are responsible for the construction and operation of experimental units (subfacilities or beamlines), as well as for the support and training of new users on their end station equipment. In recognition of the dependence of their research on the continued successful operation of the facilities, these agencies and private sector partners should work with the steward agency to address strategic and tactical questions concerning the operation, construction, instrumentation, and upgrading or decommissioning of the facilities and should undertake to provide funding for subfacilities or experimental stations in their mission areas. While there have been admirable ad hoc attempts to develop this relationship, such as the interagency working group that produced the Cassman report, these efforts are neither routine nor continuing. The creation of a stable, permanent mechanism for carrying out interagency coordination is needed to address ongoing facility-related issues. FUNDING RESPONSIBILITIES Financing multidisciplinary user facilities, like managing them, has two components, one concerned with the core of the facility and the other with the individual experimental units. The key to the success of the stewardship model is the adequacy and stability of funding of the steward for support of the core facility (as well as any beamlines it chooses to support). At the lowest level, the partner agencies or private sector partners have responsibility for funding their individual experimental units. This funding model creates a relatively simple system that is accountable, responsible, and stable.

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Unfortunately, stewards have not always been able to obtain adequate core funding to implement this model successfully. Several recent reports have identified instances of failure to adequately fund instrumentation, as in the neutron facilities (BESAC, 1997), and failure to adequately fund existing facilities—especially for training and support services at the synchrotron facilities (Lawler, 1997). In addition, the suitability of this funding model has been questioned because of the rapid increase in users in disciplines that are not part of the traditional mission of the steward agencies (e.g., structural biology). The support of these users imposes incremental costs, such as user training and staffing, on the operation of the core facility. The idea that these users defray core operating expenses, as in the early dispersed funding facility model, keeps reappearing despite its history of instability (DOE, 1999). The committee considered three general approaches to the core funding issue: (1) centralized funding of all capital and operating costs for core facility activity; (2) cost-sharing arrangements among partner agencies to cover one-time capital costs, with a possible extension to include coverage of core operating costs as well; and (3) user fees to defray facility operating costs, including both the core facilities and experimental stations. Centralized Core Funding Centralized funding for all capital and operating costs for core activities is the recommended funding method. It has the advantage of concentrating responsibility, accountability, and resources in the steward agency and thus encourages rational planning. It avoids the potential instabilities of the dispersed funding model described in Chapter 3 (i.e., the risk of cessation of operation) that can occur when one agency cannot or will not any longer meet its financial commitments. The shortcoming of this method is that in the absence of sufficient funding, the operation of the facility suffers. In view of current budget constraints and the growing divergence between the scientific interests of the steward agency and the scientific users, this is a growing risk to financial stability. Cost-Sharing Methods Cost-sharing arrangements between the steward and partner agencies for support of the core facilities is the next preferred mode. This can be for one-time capital costs or for ongoing support of core operations. The simplest cost-sharing arrangement would be for the partners to fund one-time capital costs for construction of new facilities or for discrete upgrades to the core facility. In this model, responsibility for ongoing core operation and maintenance costs would remain with the steward. NIH and DOE have recently implemented this model through a

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields special cost-sharing arrangement.6 The committee believes that this is an example of a funding policy for user facilities that should be pursued. The disadvantages are that it requires close budget coordination between the two agencies and their respective oversight committees in Congress; if all parties are not in full agreement, a significant funding gap can occur. If Congress is not fully educated on the funding of the steward and partner agencies, it may use the potential availability of alternate funding sources for facility core construction and upgrades to diminish core support for the steward agency, thus exacerbating the problem. A more complex cost-sharing arrangement would be for the steward and partner agencies to share in the support of core operations and maintenance. As previously implemented in the dispersed funding model discussed in Chapter 3, this funding method was found to be undesirable because of the instability it introduced into the operation of the facility. Because of this, several recent studies have recommended against cost sharing for facility operations and maintenance (DOE, 1999; BESAC, 1997, 1998). However, because of financial exigency, or as a result of changing user demographics and needs, a shorter or longer period of time of such funding may be necessary. If necessary, a cost-sharing approach for core operating expenses should be developed that includes funding mechanisms to ensure the operational stability of the facilities. The benefits of this necessary temporary arrangement must be weighed against its inherent complexity and the risks described in the section on dispersed funding. User Fees The user fee model is currently in effect in the United States only for research conducted by private-sector users, who pay “full cost recovery” for beam time used to conduct experiments for which the results will be kept proprietary. Here user fees are appropriate because the information obtained from the work is not intended to be shared and will, therefore, not contribute to the pool of scientific knowledge. It is important to note, however, that proprietary use accounts for less than 1% of beam time at most facilities, and such payments defray a correspondingly small fraction of operating expenses. 7 The issue of broadening the sources of support for facility operations at DOE has been considered several times. Most recently, the DOE Office of Inspector General considered whether users should supplement base operating funds either through a cost-sharing mechanism or with user fees (DOE, 1999). The report concluded that the imposition of user fees had the potential to significantly undermine the merit basis of peer review for access to the facilities by substituting the 6   NIH has committed to fund part of the cost of upgrades to SSRL and Brookhaven (Service, 1999). 7   Presentation to the committee by Gopal Shenoy, APS, September 1998.

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields willingness to pay such fees for scientific merit in the allocation of access. Rather, cost-sharing enhancements to the capability of the facilities, such as instrumentation, capital improvements, and staffing of experimental stations, could be sought. The Cassman committee was even stronger in its recommendation against user fees.8 The committee concurs with these findings and believes that imposition of general user fees, which could undermine the current merit-based policy for access to these unique national facilities, is not appropriate. In addition, if these fees were to become a significant component of the operating costs, their fluctuations would introduce unpredictability into the level of facility financing for operations and maintenance. The resulting budgetary uncertainties could, at best, impede rational planning for the upgrades and enhanced instrumentation and, at worst, risk facility shutdowns. INTERAGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES The complex and evolving management and financial relationships between steward and partner agencies discussed above demonstrate that issues associated with the continued successful operation of user facilities can no longer be satisfactorily addressed with existing stewardship models. The committee proposes going beyond these management models to a cooperative stewardship model. In this model, the essential roles of the steward and partners are maintained and are supplemented by an ongoing working group, composed of the steward and partner agencies, to address issues involving all stakeholders. The Cassman committee (see Box 4.1) is an important milestone in the evolution of this model that should be pursued. The salient features of this group are the mutual concern of the participants about a shared problem—improved access to beamlines for x-ray crystallographic studies; the existence of relevant reports by several high-level review committees; and the recognition by NIH, a partner agency, of its dependence on the success of synchrotron facilities. The cost-sharing arrangement that resulted from the recommendations of this committee was unprecedented and was a major achievement in interagency cooperation. While interagency cost sharing requires congressional and OMB approvals to be implemented, the existence of an interagency agreement provides a powerful impetus for action. To implement the cooperative stewardship model the committee recommends the establishment of a standing interagency working group consisting of high-level representatives from the steward and partner agencies associated with the major user facilities discussed in this report. Since the success of such a working group depends on the goodwill of the participating agencies, its function is not to 8   “Support of synchrotron operations is not something that can, or should, be accomplished through donations from various agencies or through usage charges” (OSTP, 1999).

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields usurp the authority of stewards over their own facilities, but to provide a forum for the steward and partner agency representatives to discuss issues or concerns that transcend the purview of a single agency. The committee suggests that the working group be constituted under the National Science and Technology Council of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which would convene, provide a venue, and facilitate the deliberations of the group. Funding for the group should be provided by its constituent agencies. The objective of this working group would be to maximize the national benefits of the user facilities and minimize instabilities in their operation. This recommendation echoes a recent National Academies’ recommendation that a formal process be established to coordinate areas of research that transcend single agencies (NAS-NAE-IOM, 1999). All the user facilities discussed in this report would fall under the purview of the proposed interagency working group. Subgroups of the main working group would be formed to focus on issues concerning specific source types or scientific fields (e.g., the Cassman committee ’s initial focus on the use of synchrotrons for x-ray crystallography). The working group is not intended to duplicate the functions of the many existing oversight committees that review the performance of the user facilities. The working group would rely insofar as possible on data assembled by previously existing review committees and other stakeholders, such as user groups and organizations. The role of the working group would be to address those issues that have an interagency dimension, including: Supporting the stewards’ budget requests to OMB and Congress for core operations and facility maintenance budgets. It remains the responsibility of the steward agencies to support the operations and maintenance of user facilities that are operated for the benefit of all stakeholders. The working group would review the stewards’ budgets and develop a unified case for funding the steward agencies at appropriate levels, with the partner agencies formally documenting their dependence on the steward ’s continued successful management of the facility. Monitoring trends in science, instrumentation, and user demographics; recommending any changes in facility capabilities and funding; and identifying needs of potentially underserved scientific user communities. The working group would regularly review all facilities from a national needs perspective instead of the current process, which typically considers only the facilities of a single steward agency. This would include a review of the needs and opportunities in instrumentation and end stations at the facilities (e.g., the supply and demand for end station instruments, current and planned support levels). To the extent possible, the working group would rely on data, appraisals, or studies conducted by the facilities, review committees, user groups, private sector partners, and the scientific community but would have the authority to commission studies to gather data elsewhere.

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Periodically reviewing performance appraisals of user facilities to determine whether they are meeting the needs of the user communities and whether the needs of potentially underserved scientific user communities are identified. These periodic performance appraisals would compare the performances of similar facilities belonging to different steward agencies. They would rely as much as possible on the appraisals of existing user committees and private sector partners at the facilities or in user community surveys. Periodically exploring whether stewardship should be shifted in or between agencies. This need may arise, for example, if the areas of scientific interest of the facility’s dominant user group diverge so greatly from the mission of the original steward that satisfactory user support cannot be provided. While intra-agency transfers are probably a steward agency matter, interagency transfers require interagency cooperation and coordination. Reviewing agency proposals to upgrade, create, or terminate facilities. The criteria would be meeting of national needs and facility effectiveness. Although the initiative to recommend upgrading, creating, or terminating a facility would continue to rest with the steward agency, the working group would consider the impact of the proposed changes on the steward and partner agencies and on the facilities’ user communities. The working group would help prioritize when multiple proposals are involved. Developing guidelines for agency cost sharing. Guidelines would be based on user requirements and demographics. An example of such a guideline is the establishment of thresholds for the fraction of users supported by a partner agency that, when reached, would obligate the partner agency to support incremental user-related facility costs, such as training or user support. It is important that this be done with appropriate constraints to ensure funding stability. Periodically reviewing user support and training needs. While such reviews are ongoing at the individual facilities and in individual steward agencies, the working group would provide a forum for considering these factors from the perspective of changing user demographics and responsibilities of the steward and partner agencies to assure adequate staffing and training. LEGAL ISSUES User Agreements User agreements are contracts that must be executed between a facility and its users (or the organizations they represent) before an experiment can be conducted. User agreements vary widely from agency to agency, from facility to facility in one agency, from facility to facility at one laboratory, and even from beamline to beamline at some facilities, depending on whether the user is a

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields member of a PRT/CAT or a general user.9 User agreements range from relatively straightforward to complex 10 and, more significantly, are not transferable among facilities.11 User agreements hamper facility use in two ways. The terms of the user agreements are a source of concern to the users’ institutions (Service, 1997),12 and the nontransferability of the agreements increases the legal transaction costs of conducting research at more than one facility and thus prevents the relocation of research programs from oversubscribed to underused facilities. The controlling policies and regulations concerning user agreements are generally not defined by law but have evolved along with the management and financing systems of the user facilities. In DOE some policies and regulations incorporated in user agreements are mandated by law and some are imposed by the facility contractor. While mandated policies apply to all DOE laboratories and facilities, contractor-and facility-imposed policies and regulations vary broadly. For non-DOE facilities, user agreements have evolved consistent with the general usage of the host institution.13 To enhance the usage of the national facilities, increase the flexibility of users to use the available resources of all facilities, and simplify negotiations, the stewards should require their facilities operators to have consistent and simple user agreements. The next step would be for the stewards to require the transferability of a satisfactorily executed user agreement between comparable facilities under their stewardship. Finally, the working group should facilitate the creation of a user agreement that is transferable among all comparable user facilities independent of steward agency. Intellectual Property Rights One of the most notable changes in the scientific environment over the last few decades has been the greater attention and interest paid to the commercialization of scientific research. As a result, intellectual property rights have become a paramount concern to an increasing number of users. Intellectual property rights significantly affect facility usage, and the committee chose to include a discussion of them in this report with the objective that they be further considered in another study. 9   For example, the APS at Argonne National Laboratory has 14 user agreement forms differentiated by the various categories of users (individual user, member of a collaborative access team, etc.) and whether the research is proprietary or nonproprietary. 10   For instance, the NIST CNR requires only a simple agreement, while at a comparable DOE facility the agreement is far more complex. 11   All DOE facilities discussed in this report are operated by contractors, and the user agreements are executed between the user’s organization and individual contractors. 12   Some university users are uncomfortable with the liability and indemnification requirements. Presentation to the committee by S. Dierker and P. Allen on November 17, 1998. 13   For example, the SRC at the University of Wisconsin has no standard user agreement but operates under the basic guidelines defined by the graduate school policy.

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Intellectual property rights and the related issue of proprietary research are contentious issues, especially at DOE-funded facilities (Service, 1997). Under past and current agreements, if users wished the results of their experiments to remain private, they were required to contract for and pay “full cost recovery” for proprietary research. However, as a result of language inserted in the budget bill of 1999,14 it is not clear whether payment for proprietary research will protect such research results from public disclosure. This is a serious issue for all users. The policies and regulations governing intellectual property rights at DOE-owned facilities originated in the 1954 Atomic Energy Act, as amended, and the 1974 Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act.15 The Atomic Energy Act vested all intellectual property in the Atomic Energy Commission except where the commission deemed it appropriate to waive its claim.16 Subsequent legislation17 enacted to encourage use of the national laboratories provided a blanket waiver to all users under certain conditions.18 Exactly what constitutes these conditions, which include weapons research and national interest, and where the determining authority lies are themselves unresolved in DOE. The waiver itself is subject to several restrictions, one of which reserves to the government “a nonexclusive, nontransferable paid-up license to make, use, and sell each subject invention . . .” even for inventions for which substantial sponsor resources have been invested. Thus, the issuance of the blanket waiver, which was intended to preserve intellectual property rights and confidentiality for the related background and technical data for the user, also preserved “march in” rights for the government. This is a concern to both academic and industrial users, who must balance the benefit accrued from research conducted or measurements made at DOE national facilities against the risk imposed by the retained government rights. Such considerations tend to reduce the attractiveness of the national facilities. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Finding: The synchrotron, neutron, and high-magnetic-field user facilities in the United States have contributed substantially to the advance of science and technology across a growing range of disciplines. But increases in the costs, management complexity, and diversity and number of users have created a need for a more coherent and better-articulated strategy for managing these facilities. 14   P.L. 105-277, Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1999. 15   Codified at 42 USC 2182. 16   Codified at 42 USC 5908. 17   P.L. 96-517, the Bayh-Dole Patent and Trademark Amendment of 1980, codified at 35 USC 200-210. 18   The DOE patent waiver provisions in 10 CFR 784 (1996) supersede earlier patent waiver regulations.

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Recommendation: To ensure continued scientific and technological excellence and innovation at multidisciplinary user research facilities, U.S. funding agencies should adopt a cooperative stewardship model for managing the facilities. The elements of the cooperative stewardship model are the following: Responsibility for design, construction, operation, maintenance, and upgrading of each facility core should rest with a single clearly identified federal agency—the steward. The steward’s budget should contain sufficient funds for design, construction, maintenance, operation, and upgrading of the facility core. The steward should engage the partners—other agencies, industry, and private institutions—in the planning, design, construction, support, and funding of the experimental stations and other subfacilities. The steward can also function as a partner in, for example, supporting experimental units or joining with others to form user groups. The steward should support a robust in-house basic scientific research program. This program should be of sufficient magnitude and diversity to ensure that the steward’s mission is addressed and that external users have adequate quality and quantity of collaboration and technical support in their fields. The steward should support in-house scientific research to advance the science and technology required to produce high-quality photon and neutron beams and high magnetic fields. Finding: As the size and disciplinary diversity of the scientific user community have increased, the programmatic heterogeneity and demands for funding have often grown beyond the scientific expertise and budgets of the steward agencies. Partners have provided assistance to the stewards, but only on an ad hoc basis. Recommendation: A permanent interagency facilities working group, made up of representation from the appropriate steward and partner federal agencies, should be created under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to identify issues and to coordinate responses to needs that transcend the missions of the steward agencies. This group should be charged to: Review and coordinate support for the facility stewards’ core operations and maintenance budget requests to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress. Review and, if necessary, prioritize agency proposals to upgrade, create, or terminate facilities based on national needs and facility effectiveness. Monitor trends in the science, instrumentation, and user demographics

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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields at facilities and recommend changes in facility capabilities and funding levels and sources as needed. Periodically appraise facility performance in meeting the needs of the scientific user communities. Periodically investigate the need to shift stewardship of a facility either within or between agencies. Develop guidelines for agency cost sharing based on usage. Periodically examine user support and training levels to allow for changes in user demographics. Finding: Each facility has implicit or explicit agreements with its users that address rights and responsibilities of both parties in such matters as safety, operations, logistics, proprietary research, and costs. These user agreements vary substantially in their complexity and requirements. Among facilities managed by the same steward—and even at the same site—there can be substantial differences that create difficulties for users and reduce the overall effectiveness of the facilities in promoting scientific excellence. Recommendation: Steward agencies, facility management, and the facility user communities should reexamine and modify their user agreements to achieve maximum simplicity, uniformity, and portability. Finding: Some users access the facilities as a relatively minor part of a more comprehensive research program intended to generate results of potential commercial value. Current intellectual property policies, which appear to be a mix of agency-specific legal requirements and facility-generated practices, are complex and uneven across stewards and facilities and may not be appropriate for effective facility use. These factors can inhibit or needlessly complicate participation at the facilities. Recommendation: The current intellectual property policies and practices at the facilities should be carefully assessed by an independent commission composed of representatives of steward and partner agencies; university, private company, and research institute partners; and user groups. The commission should recommend changes to optimize the protection of researcher and taxpayer interests and facilitate development of scientific findings.