Natural resources (1 - 10 of 29 items) in Custom Date Range
Advanced Technologies: Strengthened Federal Approach Needed to Help Identify and Mitigate Supply Risks for Critical Raw Materials
GAO-16-699: Published: Sep 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 2016.
Federal agencies are primarily focused on two areas of activity related to critical materials supply—assessing risk and supporting research. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted two criticality assessments on materials important to clean energy applications and manages the Critical Materials Institute—a 5-year, $120 million investment aimed at mitigating risks by diversify...
High-Containment Laboratories: Improved Oversight of Dangerous Pathogens Needed to Mitigate Risk
GAO-16-642: Published: Aug 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2016.
The total number of incidents involving incomplete inactivation—a process to destroy the hazardous effects of pathogens while retaining characteristics for future use—that occurred from 2003 through 2015 is unknown for several reasons. One key reason is that the Select Agent Program—operated by the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) to oversee certain dange...
Intellectual Property: Survey of U.S. Patent Examiners (GAO-16-478SP, June 2016), an E-supplement to GAO-16-479 and GAO-16-490
GAO-16-478SP: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2016.
This is an e-supplement to GAO-16-479 and GAO-16-490. It provides the results of closed-ended questions from GAO's web-based survey of a stratified random sample of 3,336 eligible patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as of May 2015. The survey was fielded from August to November 2015, and its questions measured examiners' perceptions of (1) PTO's approach to patent qualit...
Federal Research: Information on DOE's Laboratory-Directed Research and Development Program
GAO-16-486R: Published: Apr 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 2016.
For fiscal year 2015, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) authorized Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) funding limit, expressed as a percentage, was the same as the LDRD funding limit for other Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories. Specifically, DOE’s LDRD policy directs NNSA and other DOE laboratories to comply with statutory limits—for fiscal year 201...
Federal Research Opportunities: DOE, DOD, and HHS Need Better Guidance for Participant Activities
GAO-16-128: Published: Jan 20, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 20, 2016.
For fiscal years 2010 through 2014, the 11 departments and other federal agencies that sponsor research participants collectively expended $776.4 million for activities carried out through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) research participation program (ORISE program). The three agencies with the highest expenditures for the program over the 5-year period were the Departme...
Technology Assessment: Water in the Energy Sector: Reducing Freshwater Use in Hydraulic Fracturing and Thermoelectric Power Plant Cooling
GAO-15-545: Published: Aug 7, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2015.
Waterless and water-efficient fracturing technologies such as gas-based fracturing or foams have been used to reduce the use of freshwater in hydraulic fracturing operations, although the main benefit is enhanced hydrocarbon recovery. The geologic formation characteristics of shale plays largely determine their use. According to experts GAO consulted, hydraulic fracturing operators are managing th...
Advanced Reactor Research: DOE Supports Multiple Technologies, but Actions Needed to Ensure a Prototype Is Built
GAO-14-545: Published: Jun 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2014.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy's (NE) approach to advanced reactor research and development (R&D) focuses on three reactor technologies—high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, sodium-cooled fast reactors, and fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactors—but NE is also funding research into other advanced reactor technologies. NE's approach is to conduct research in s...
Small Business Research Programs: More Guidance and Oversight Needed to Comply with Spending and Reporting Requirements
GAO-14-431: Published: Jun 6, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 6, 2014.
Agency data indicate that 8 of the 11 agencies participating in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and 2 of the 5 agencies participating in the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program complied with spending requirements in fiscal year 2012. Program managers for agencies that did not comply with the requirements identified reasons for noncompliance. For example, program...
Nuclear Weapons: Technology Development Efforts for the Uranium Processing Facility
GAO-14-295: Published: Apr 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 2014.
GAO has identified five additional risks since its November 2010 report ( GAO-11-103 ) associated with using new technologies in the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), which is to be built in three interrelated phases. These risks and the steps that NNSA is taking to address them include the following:Technology integration risks . An August 201...
Small Business Innovation Research: Data Rights Protections
GAO-14-116R: Published: Nov 4, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 2013.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program targets small businesses for federal research or research and development funding to develop and commercialize innovative technologies. The Small Business Administration (SBA), which oversees the program, is in the process of amending the provisions of the SBIR policy directive that pertain to small businesses retaining the rights to data they...