Sandia Labs FY21 LDRD Annual Report


LONG-TERM METRICS The Long-term Impacts of LDRD Investments

The LDRD program is an investment in the nation’s future, ensuring mission support that is often realized after many years. This section highlights the longer-term (>5 year) impact of LDRD as a national asset. These performance indicators are updated annually. As expected, the data may vary from year to year so long-term running totals will be included and updated every 5 years. Background Applying continuous improvement, representatives from each LDRD program at the NNSA laboratories (Sandia, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory) regularly participate in a working group to share best practices and discuss strategies for tracking the long-term impact of LDRD investments. In FY20, the working group finalized a combination of common quantitative and qualitative long-term indicators, emphasizing a systematic approach to be utilized by each NNSA LDRD laboratory, and acknowledged that individual laboratories may choose to report other long-term indicators that fit their unique missions and capabilities. Alignment with LDRD Objectives The KPI for LDRD, including numerical KPIs in the form of metrics and qualitative KPIs in the form of project highlights, illustrates the long-term payoffs/success of the program in meeting its three objectives: Technical Vitality, Mission Agility, and Workforce Development. Because KPIs crosscut the three objectives, this report will not provide a 1:1 mapping. Importance of Qualitative Data Developing numerical indicators for R&D program success is widely recognized as difficult. The NNSA LDRD metrics working group developed numerical success indicators for both Technical Vitality and Workforce Development. Project highlights or “success stories” capture the successes in Mission Agility and some aspects of the other two LDRD objectives not well represented by numerical metrics. Tracing impact back to LDRD

Throughout this section, you will see references to “LDRD roots.” LDRD mentors and principal investigators (PI) often discuss what it means for an accomplishment to have LDRD roots. A simple case might involve an idea for an invention that arises during an LDRD project and work on the invention is completed during the period of LDRD investment. But R&D often does not advance quickly. In general, an accomplishment (invention, paper, capability, etc.) is determined to have LDRD roots if there are one or more LDRD projects without which the accomplishment would never have come into being. In other words, if a current LDRD project relies on an earlier LDRD accomplishment, then it is considered to have “roots” in the prior LDRD project. Other relevant definitions for metrics are included in the sections to follow.

...having “LDRD roots” means one or more previous LDRD projects had a critical influence on the development.



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