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Strategic Partnership Projects

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) can apply its resources and skills to the specific needs of other Federal agencies and non-Federal organizations through Department of Energy (DOE) Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP) program.

Under various statutes, international agreements, and common Federal policies, DOE has a mission to provide technical assistance to other Federal agencies, commercial companies, local and state governments, and foreign governments. The DOE laboratories and technology centers have developed world-class core technical capabilities in a variety of technologies, and they are uniquely qualified to provide immediate research and development support to other Federal agencies and non-Federal organizations.

About the SPP Program

The DOE SPP program enables other Federal agencies and non-Federal organizations to take advantage of PNNL's immense and specialized research and development capabilities on a full cost-recovery basis (reimbursable agreements).

DOE Order 481.1, entitled "Work for Others (Non-Department of Energy Funded Work)", defines SPP as "work for non-DOE entities that is performed by DOE/contractor personnel and/or utilizes DOE facilities and is not directly funded by DOE appropriations."

SPP Objectives:

  • Accomplish research or technology goals that may otherwise be unattainable, and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.
  • Access highly specialized or unique facilities, services, or technical expertise.
  • Transfer technologies from the Laboratory to the marketplace for further development or commercialization.
  • Maintain core competencies and enhance the science and technology base at PNNL.

How to do Business with PNNL

Federal Agencies - How to Obtain Technical Resources and Skills from DOE.

DOE authorizes its laboratories to represent DOE when conducting discussions on research and technological assistance with federal customers. After the initial dialogues, the federal customer may perceive benefits in a joint problem-solving venture. This informal conceptual agreement is created to serve as the foundation for developing a relationship to meet the federal customer's technological needs.

  • DOE Involvement
    After reviewing and understanding the preliminary technology requirements of the federal customer, PNNL prepares a draft Statement of Work or Research Proposal with estimated costs. DOE is required by policy to determine that the work for a federal partner is compatible with DOE missions, will not adversely impact current DOE programs, will not place a detrimental future burden on DOE resources, and is not in direct competition with the U.S. domestic private sector. DOE will submit a formal technical proposal to the federal customer, which will include the DOE administrative requirements. Administrative Requirements
  • Federal Customer Involvement
    Once the federal customer receives the DOE technical proposal, the federal customer may choose to fund the project, fund parts of the project, defer the activity to a later date (e.g., to obtain further funds or to receive a higher agency approval), or stop all activity.
    When the federal customer determines there is a need for PNNL's assistance to meet agency mission requirements, the customer will forward a funding document to DOE. The funding document references the technical proposal, establishes the work performance period, and must be consistent with DOE administrative requirements.
  • DOE Project Acceptance
    Upon receipt of the federal customer's funding document, the proposed work is reviewed to ensure it is compatible with the technical proposal, consistent with the appropriate legal authority, and can be executed in the requested time frame. DOE accepts the customer's funding document by co-signing the document and thereby 'obligating' the customer's funds. DOE then assigns the technical task to PNNL, commits the funds, and authorizes the laboratory to start work.

Commercial Business and Non-Federal Government Customers - How to Obtain Technical Resources and Skills from DOE.

Commercial business and non-Federal governments customers can arrange for work to be done at PNNL through a relatively simple business arrangement. The key steps in the overall process are:

  • Early Interaction between PNNL and the Customer.
    Discussions are informal. Planning documents, capability statements, and related material are of a preliminary nature. No commitments are made on either side.
  • Formal Request.
    After a formal request is received from a customer, PNNL prepares work statements, budget estimates, resource requirements and SPP Agreement.
  • Project Review and Approval.
    DOE, PNNL, and the requesting customer review and approve work statements, budget estimates, SPP Agreement and related documents, thereby ensuring that the needs of all parties are met.
  • Funding Acceptance and Authorization.
    Once the SPP Agreement is fully executed and required advanced funding received, DOE will authorize PNNL to begin work.
  • Project Performance.
    The project is performed on a best-effort basis, in compliance with the terms and conditions of each individual agreement.
  • Billing and Payment.
    Bills are issued monthly; payments are normally due within 30 days of the billing date.

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