R&D Evaluation Approaches for Efficiency and Effectiveness

Friday, November 16, 2:40 - 3:30 PM

Speaker(s): Bruce Chehroudi, PhD

Room #: Vesey

R&D managers in the Federal government are responsible for the performance of their divisions and they not only need to be aware of current evaluation methods they also should be able to choose the most appropriate ones for strategic planning and continuous improvement. Considering that in 2018 nearly $553 Billion, or 2.8% of the GDP, is spent on R&D in USA, the selection and use of—not just one—but a portfolio of evaluation methods is of paramount importance.

Considering the U.S. Federal Government R&D expenditure of about $117.7 Billion in FY18, and the highly competitive nature of global R&D, it is imperative that R&D program managers involved in the Federal government be fully aware and understand the strengths and short-comings of these evaluations tools and choose the best ones for performance assessment of their R&D activities. Evidence generated by using a variety of R&D evaluation methods would improve program planning and implementation and strengthen the defense of programs with the OMB and Congress.

R&D program managers need to know if their R&D activities are done right, focused on the right research areas, created knowledge that generated additional benefits to the nation, stimulated collaborations that affected the nation’s R&D capabilities, and if initiatives have been and will be beneficial. The more R&D managers can show that they offer value for the money, the more credible the case for increased resources become.

In this presentation, R&D productivity, efficiency and effectiveness are defined. A concise overview of a number of evaluation methods found to be useful to program managers in Federal agencies will be discussed. Examples of successful applications by R&D managers in the Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be offered as case studies.

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