The Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories are available to conduct work for other Federal agencies and non-Federal customers on a 100% reimbursable basis. This work uses laboratory personnel and/or facilities; pertains to the mission of the laboratory; does not conflict or interfere with the achievement of DOE program objectives; does not place the laboratory in direct competition with the domestic private sector; and does not create a potential future burden on DOE resources.
The rationale for establishing the WFO program is based on several key factors:
- The Department’s laboratories contain some highly specialized and unique technical expertise and equipment that are not available elsewhere in the U.S. By permitting Federal, State and local governments to work with the laboratories it allows them to accomplish goals that may otherwise be unattainable and avoids potential duplication of research efforts.
- The laboratories represent a national scientific asset and, under appropriate conditions, this resource should be made available to U.S. industry and universities to strengthen their technology base and improve their international competitiveness.
- Research and development (R&D) interactions between DOE laboratories and industry help transfer technology developed by the laboratories, thus aiding the further development and commercialization of laboratory technologies by industry.
- Non-DOE funded research that is related to ongoing DOE research at the laboratories can help leverage DOE research by further developing needed technical expertise or providing complimentary research results.
OLPE establishes and implements procedures for oversight and reporting of the WFO programs at the Office of Science (SC) laboratories.