A study by an Energy Department committee has found that DOE-funded basic research and scientific programs have led to some technological advancements over the past four decades.
The Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee’s report, titled A Remarkable Return on Investment in Fundamental Research,” explores the link between department-sponsored fundamental research efforts and modern technology platforms in areas such as combustion, communications, information and vehicles, DOE said Tuesday.
“The technological revolutions that we have witnessed in our lifetime all have their roots in basic discovery science,” said Energy Secretary Rick Perry, adding that he believes federal support can help the U.S. maintain a technological edge.
DOE funded more than 200 research projects on light-emitting diode technology, which resulted in the award of more than 270 patents, the report noted.
The department also sponsored combustion modeling efforts that helped facilitate the development of internal combustion engines, as well as established scientific user facilities that many government and industry researchers use.
BESAC is composed of outside experts who provide research advice to DOE’s Office of Science and produced the report to commemorate 40 years of BES research support.