DOE Laboratories of the Future (LOTF)

DOE laboratories are globally recognized to be masters of science at scale, interdisciplinary research, and operating national user facilities. At the same time, the laboratory complex is entering its eighth decade of existence and retains vestiges of its World War II roots. As the stewards of this national treasure, it is our job to ensure the laboratories have the resources and structures to thrive for the next 70 years and beyond.

This is what drives the effort to create a vision for the Laboratories of the Future. The purpose of this exercise is to consider future possibilities without being limited by current constraints, be it legal, political, historical, or otherwise.

The core question is what would the DOE laboratories be like if we had the power to make them any way we wanted? Embedded in that question, is what is it that makes the DOE laboratories so special? What has allowed them year after year to produce the groundbreaking research for which they are so well respected? No matter what, we must keep that intact.

Beginning in the Spring of 2020, we have been reaching out to former DOE and laboratory leadership, current DOE and laboratory leadership, early and mid-career researchers at the laboratories, and external stakeholders – including university researchers and leadership, scientific professional societies, industrial partners, international partners, and more. We have also been reviewing other successful institutional models to see what can be learned from alternative approaches.