Senate report shows how California can optimize benefits of state-funded research

Following key principles can foster economic growth, bring new products, services to the market, SOR report says

March 8, 2018

SACRAMENTO – A Senate Office of Research (SOR) report requested by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) highlights nine key principles state-funded research programs should use to optimize benefits to the public. The report was released this morning by SOR.  The authors will brief the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation, chaired by Wieckowski, during the committee’s hearing today after session in Room 112.

“California is at the forefront of the innovation economy and by using principles vital to efficient and effective research programs we can ensure our research dollars are invested in a manner that advances both our scientific understanding and our economy,” said Wieckowski, an advocate for expanded research on climate issues. “We have world-class higher education institutions, national laboratories and companies doing state of the art research. Whether it is alternative energy, climate change, resiliency or other fields, through collaboration and solid management we can help California create the breakthroughs with well-run research programs.”

After performing a literature review and conducting interviews with more than 40 research scientists from 21 institutions, the SOR report determined nine principles are critical to the success of effective public research projects. The principles are: clearly defined research goals and objectives; impartial expert guidance; adaptability and flexibility; efficient granting; intellectual property stewardship; review and assessment; marketing and outreach; cross agency coordination and collaboration; and skilled workforce and economic development.

There are three basic components necessary to achieve the best results, including legislative program goals, an impartial expert advisory council and a program administrator.  

“Innovation is the great equalizer,” said Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park). “We can meet our climate goals and lift up a durable middle class by making clean energy technologies affordable for all. This report takes a closer look at the research and development necessary to make that happen. Senator Wieckowski and I will ensure its recommendations are heeded as we charge forward into a new era of climate progress.”

The report includes three public programs chosen to represent effective national-, regional-, and state-level administrations.  The programs are:


  • U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Laboratory Directed Research and Development
  • California Breast Cancer Research Program.

The California Senate Office of Research is a nonpartisan office charged with serving the research needs of the California State Senate and assisting Senate members and committees with the development of effective public policy.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th District, which includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County.