We’re going to try a few new events and bring back an old favorite at the upcoming SERDP and ESTCP Symposium.  I’ll start with the old favorite since we have already gotten a lot of interest in this session.  On Thursday, November 29th at noon we will be holding a session entitled “Funding Opportunities: How to Partner with SERDP & ESTCP.”  Deputy Director Andrea Leeson and I will then present an overview of the SERDP and ESTCP process and then will be available for questions along with the other Program Managers.  We are also hoping to have a contracting officer from HECSA available to answer any contract-related questions the attendees might have.  This has been a very popular session in the past and, based on registrations to date, we expect it to be this year again.

The first new event we are going to try is a pair of Tech Transfer panels during the evening poster session on Wednesday, November 28th.  We’re planning to set up a small presentation area at the front of the poster session on Wednesday and Andrea Leeson and Robin Nissan will moderate two panels of experts who have been involved in technology transfer of the results of SERDP and ESTCP projects.  We hope the lessons these experts have learned as they negotiated the tech transfer process will help other PIs as they approach the end of their development or demonstration projects.

The next event focuses on the students attending the Symposium.  Many of our Investigators bring their students to the Symposium and we also have a cadre of students from local Universities helping with the technical sessions.  We are planning a lunch for all interested students on Wednesday at noon.  I’ll host the lunch and would like to get a PM or two along with one or two of our PIs from Government labs to participate.  I plan to give a short overview and then take questions from the students on the general topic of careers as a research scientist in the Government.

The final event we are planning is oriented toward PIs, both new and continuing.  We will have one of the developers of our SERDP and ESTCP Management System (SEMS) in a room off the poster session available to help with user questions on the whole SEMS experience.  He will be accompanied by one of our support staff on an individual laptop in case there are specific questions not appropriate for a wider audience.

You can find more information on these events, the technical and poster sessions, and the short courses on the Symposium website.  I encourage all of you give these events a try and let us know how you like them.