Articles

242 Items

an operator inspects a photolithography tool used to manufacture these solar cells.

Daniel Derkacs/SolarJunction

Journal Article - Research Policy

Governments as Partners: The Role of Alliances in U.S. Cleantech Startup Innovation

Accelerating innovation in clean energy technologies is a policy priority for governments around the world aiming to mitigate climate change and to provide affordable energy. Most research has focused on the role of governments financing R&D and steering market demand, but there is a more limited understanding of the role of direct government interactions with startups across all sectors. The authors  propose and evaluate the value-creation mechanisms of network resources from different types of partners for startups, highlighting the unique resources of government partners for cleantech startups. 

Photo of Mark Zuckerberg preparing to resume testimony about user data on Facebook.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Magazine Article - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

America Needs to Align Technology with a Public Purpose

| Nov. 25, 2018

The arc of innovative progress has reached an inflection point, writes Ash Carter in The Atlantic. "Recent technological change that has brought immeasurable improvements to billions around the globe now threatens to overwhelm us. Making this disruption positive for all is the chief challenge of our time. We ourselves—not only market forces—should bend the arc of change toward human good. To do so, we must reinvigorate an ethos of public purpose that has become dangerously decoupled from many of today’s leading tech endeavors."

Solar panels at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory gather sunlight at the test facility

AP/Jack Dempsey

Journal Article - MRS Energy & Sustainability

Nurturing Transformative U.S. Energy Research: Two Guiding Principles

The authors raise for debate and discussion what in their opinion is a growing mis-control and mis-protection of U.S. energy research. They outline the origin of this mis-control and mis-protection, and propose two guiding principles to mitigate them and instead nurture research: (1) focus on people, not projects; and (2) culturally insulate research from development, but not science from technology.

newer design of a nuclear reactor

DOE/Advanced Reactor Technology

Journal Article - Nature Energy

A Tortoise Approach for US Nuclear Research and Development

| July 30, 2018

In Aesop's fable, a swift hare races with a deliberate tortoise. In the end, the tortoise wins by taking a slow and steady approach. The authors argue that, given the economic constraints on US deployment of nuclear power, a "tortoise strategy" is more prudent for US government nuclear R&D efforts.

 Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant

United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

US Nuclear Power: The Vanishing Low-carbon Wedge

    Authors:
  • M. Granger Morgan
  • Ahmed Abdulla
  • Michael Rath
| July 10, 2018

Nuclear power holds the potential to make a significant contribution to decarbonizing the US energy system. Whether it could do so in its current form is a critical question: Existing large light water reactors in the United States are under economic pressure from low natural gas prices, and some have already closed. Moreover, because of their great cost and complexity, it appears most unlikely that any new large plants will be built over the next several decades. While advanced reactor designs are sometimes held up as a potential solution to nuclear power's challenges, the authors' assessment of the advanced fission enterprise suggests that no US design will be commercialized before midcentury. That leaves factory-manufactured, light water small modular reactors (SMRs) as the only option that might be deployed at significant scale in the climate-critical period of the next several decades.

Dr. Arun Majumdar

DOE/Ken Shipp

Journal Article - Research Policy

Simultaneous Pursuit of Discovery and Invention in the US Department of Energy

There is a sharp boundary between basic and applied research in the organizational structure of the US Department of Energy (DOE). In this work, the authors consider a branch of DOE that was designed to operate across this boundary: the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E). They hypothesize that much of energy research cannot be neatly categorized as basic or applied and is more productive outside of the confines of the basic/applied dichotomy; ARPA-E provides an opportunity to test that hypothesis.

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Journal Article - IEEE Internet of Things

IIoT Cybersecurity Risk Modeling for SCADA Systems

| Apr. 06, 2018

Abstract:

Urban critical infrastructure such as electric grids, water networks and transportation systems are prime targets for cyberattacks. These systems are composed of connected devices which we call the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). An attack on urban critical infrastructure IIoT would cause considerable disruption to society. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are typically used to control IIoT for urban critical infrastructure. Despite the clear need to understand the cyber risk to urban critical infrastructure, there is no data-driven model for evaluating SCADA software risk for IIoT devices. In this paper, we compare non-SCADA and SCADA systems and establish, using cosine similarity tests, that SCADA as a software subclass holds unique risk attributes for IIoT. We then disprove the commonly accepted notion that the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) risk metrics of Exploitability and Impact are not correlated with attack for the SCADA subclass of software. A series of statistical models are developed to identify SCADA risk metrics that can be used to evaluate the risk that a SCADA-related vulnerability is exploited. Based on our findings, we build a customizable SCADA risk prioritization schema that can be used by the security community to better understand SCADA-specific risk. Considering the distinct properties of SCADA systems, a data-driven prioritization schema will help researchers identify security gaps specific to this software subclass that is essential to our society’s operations.