BETO evaluations presented at 2017 program management review

By U.S. Department of Energy | August 31, 2017

Following Bioeconomy 2017: Domestic Resources for a Vibrant Future, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s annual conference—BETO held its 2017 Program Management Review in Arlington, Virginia. This was the second part of BETO’s biennial peer review process, which began in March with BETO’s Project Peer Review meeting. The Program Management Review provided a public summary of the programmatic and technology area evaluations and responses. Presentations from the BETO leadership and peer review panels are now online.

In March, BETO hosted the 2017 Project Peer Review in Denver, Colorado. During the event, BETO presented to the public approximately 192 projects in its research and development portfolio, and more than 40 external subject matter experts from industry, academia, and federal agencies systematically reviewed the projects. The third-party review panels prepared their reviews and compiled their evaluations of BETO’s project portfolio, and the steering committee developed an overall programmatic evaluation on the following topics: project portfolio impact, strategic plan clarity and comprehensiveness, budget priorities, partnership effectiveness, and emerging technologies and market trends. Receiving this feedback from industry and academic experts in each technology area is critical for BETO to ensure that its publicly funded research portfolio continues to responsibly use taxpayer dollars to efficiently accelerate the research and development to enable an advanced bioenergy industry.

During the Program Management Review, reviewers and steering committee members commended BETO on its efforts to enhance cross-discipline collaboration and communication between program areas, between national laboratories, and with industry. The reviewers’ and steering committee’s presentations emphasized that BETO’s consortia, such as ChemCatBio and the Agile BioFoundry, and initiatives, such as the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines, demonstrate a growing emphasis on collaborative research. Per the steering committee’s recommendations, BETO intends to further develop its industry and university partnerships to ensure that its research portfolio is on track with the needs and the mission of enabling a robust and vibrant bioeconomy. 

Later this year, BETO will publish a full Peer Review Report outlining programmatic and project evaluations. Learn more about BETO and its efforts to establish partnerships with key public and private stakeholders to develop technologies for producing cost-competitive advanced biofuels from non-food biomass resources, including cellulosic biomass, algae, and wet waste.