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Updated 14 July 2008

CCTP R&D Prioritization


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An important role of the CCTP is to strengthen and provide strategic direction for the Federal portfolio of investments in climate change technology R&D. 

Prioritization of Federal technology R&D activities related to climate change is a dynamic process that has evolved over time in response to emerging knowledge.  This evolution is expected to continue.

Through coordinated interagency planning and analysis, the CCTP priorities will be reviewed periodically in conjunction with the Federal budget process, and recommendations will be made through the Interagency Working Group (IWG) to the Cabinet-level Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration.

CCTP’s planning activities are guided by several important portfolio planning principles and investment criteria.

Additionally, these planning activities are informed by results of studies, inputs from many and diverse sources, technical workshops, assessments of technology potentials, analyses regarding long-term energy and emissions outlooks, and modeling by a number of groups of a range of technology scenarios over the next 100 years (see Chapter 3 of CCTP Strategic Plan).

CCTP’s review, planning, and prioritization process will rely on ongoing reviews of strategies for technology development, buttressed by analysis, and of the overall R&D portfolio’s adequacy to make progress toward attaining each CCTP strategic goal.  There will be an emphasis on identifying gaps and opportunities for new initiatives that will be accompanied by periodic realignments.  CCTP also recognizes the importance of supporting basic research.

Prioritization Process

The first step in the prioritization process is to establish a baseline, or inventory, of the existing portfolio of R&D activities across the participating agencies.  This inventory is periodically updated. The criteria used to compile this portfolio baseline, which closely track CCTP strategic goals, are listed in the CCTP Vision and Framework for Strategy and Planning; see page 44

The second step in the process is to use the insights gained from the scenario modeling and other analyses to identify the more important elements of a diversified strategy and to assess the potential contributions of each activity within the CCTP portfolio.  This assessment may affirm some elements of the portfolio, challenge others, and identify gaps and promising opportunities.

Once a full set of candidate investments is identified, the prioritization criteria can be applied to each proposed investment activity.  This step will require continuing development of analytical tools and methods, including assessments of various technologies and their limitations.

See also:

  1. Portfolio Planning Principles
  2. Portfolio Planning and Investment Criteria


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