Planning at NSF STCERSP
many approaches to strategic planning. An excellent summary of strategic
planning can be found in the best practices section of the Engineering
Research Center website. Our
planning process follows a similar outline.
What we describe here is an approach that we believe will work for us in
planning our research. Planning is
in progress and will be broadened to include the entire CERSP later this year.
Other links to websites helpful for strategic planning are listed at the
end of this section.
The main points of strategic planning are to establish direction and provide
alignment. The direction that the
Center takes over time is the result of hundreds of individual decisions made by
researchers. Thus it’s important
that we establish the right direction with our strategic plan, that everyone
understands and commits to the plan and makes decisions aligned with it.
Strategic planning is a cascade process. Each
step is linked to the preceding one, with shorter range and greater detail. The plan began with a state-of-the-art
analysis, which was done for the original project proposal to NSF. We
derive the barriers which
we must overcome in order to reach our vision by examining the
differences between the future to which we aspire and today’s world.
The need for “green” chemical processes was identified,
leading to a vision reflecting the difference we
hope to make.
vision is a brief and, we hope, compelling statement of the world we seek to
create. A “revolution in green
chemistry” captures the visionary part of this statement.
A revolution involves risk and we intend to undertake the type of
high-risk research that industry typically avoids.
The phrase “cutting-edge integrated physical science/engineering,
social science and education programs” reflects both the fundamental
nature of our research and our commitment to collaboration.
“Enable” describes our strategic intent to provide broad new
technology underlying commercialization.
The statement of mission describes our role in overcoming barriers to achieve our vision.
and enable sustainable processes and products” means that we plan for and
target our fundamental, cutting-edge science to have practical application. “Sustainable” implies environmentally benign, energy
efficient and economically competitive. “CO2-related
technology” describes the focus of our cutting edge science and
engineering. The second part of our
mission “enable our science to have broad societal benefit by understanding
social processes that foster collaboration and innovation in research, career
training and outreach activities” reflects our belief that technology
alone is insufficient to achieve a revolution.
People make it happen.