VIDEO: Heinrich Advocates For Laboratory Directed Research And Development Program

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich


  • Funding for LDRD helps advance security missions at LANL and SNL

WASHINGTON, D.C – During a Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., discussed the importance of funding for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. A list of Wednesday’s witnesses can be found here.

Heinrich is advocating to increase LDRD funding up to a level of 10 percent. LDRD investments help national laboratories, including Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, advance their national security missions in the field of science and engineering. The program also helps attract and retain top researchers from around the world, fosters collaborations with large and small businesses, and promotes innovation. 

VIDEO: Watch Senator Heinrich’s Q&A on increasing LDRD funding. [Download HD Video]

Last September, Heinrich participated in a discussion at the University of New Mexico where representatives from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories presented their latest LDRD projects. The projects ranged from software that helps prevent cybersecurity attacks to reducing water usage for the energy industry.

Heinrich, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, is a staunch supporter of the LDRD program. In 2009, then-U.S. Rep. Heinrich offered an amendment to the fiscal year 2010 House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to raise LDRD investments from 6 to 7 percent. The amendment was adopted unanimously. After a conference with the Senate, the final appropriations bill allowed the labs up to 8 percent investments for the LDRD program; the bill became law Oct. 28, 2009.