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[en] Many government R and D laboratory executives face a tough couple of months ahead. These anxieties are fueled by (1) possible management, technical direction, and budgetary changes in their agencies due to changes in the federal administration; (2) frozen operating budgets until March 2009 due to the Continuing Resolution (CR) attachment to the recent banking bailout bill; and (3) the financial fallout from the economic downturn. These and other pertinent questions regarding their R and D operations were addressed in R and D Magazine's 9th Annual Government R and D Executive Roundtable held on Oct. 16, 2008, in conjunction with the 46th Annual R and D 100 Awards at Chicago's Navy Pier. Most members of this year's government executive panel were hesitant to speculate on the changes that might occur in their labs as a result of the new administration. The exception to this stand was the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Robert Hawsey. ''No matter who wins (the Roundtable was held before the Nov. 4th Presidential election), we expect to see continued support,'' says Hawsey. ''All of our cooperative research facilities are over-subscribed and we're looking at how we can expand them.'' Obviously, renewable energy is a hot button in the administration and likely to get increased financial backing to help meet our country's energy independence goals. When pressed, the panel was mostly optimistic about their future support, stating that external threats to the U.S. have not changed, and research work associated with homeland security and national defense is unlikely to see drastic change. ''We have a strong portfolio in life science and don't expect any changes,'' says Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL's) Michelle Buchanan. Ongoing federally funded work at the national labs that was started before the Oct. 1st start of the FY2009 fiscal year will continue without any changes - those funds are unaffected by the CR action. This applies as well to any building or laboratory construction. The CR action, however, has stopped the kickoff of many new research programs. ''Nothing new can be started,'' says NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Nona Cheeks. The CR action came as a surprise to most Executive Roundtable panelists. ''While the CR action gives us a flat budget for the first half of this fiscal year, our actual research costs have generally increased due to inflationary pressures,'' says ORNL's Buchanan. ''We're going to have to reduce something; the Dept. of Energy (DOE) is still formulating a plan.'' To partially address this, some cost-cutting measures have already been put in place. NASA, for example, has cut some of their discretionary travel and expense (T and E) budgets by about 70%, according to the NASA panel participants. The DOE's T and E budgets have not been affected. As a result of the CR actions, some labs are also starting to more actively explore alternative third party funding for their capital expenditures, such as new building construction programs. This includes having private parties build and lease facilities on the government lab sites, which would then be at least partially staffed by government researchers. This strategy has been in place already at Battelle/Univ. of Tennessee-operated ORNL. While the economic downturn has seen some effects already in the industrial sector, the Executive Roundtable panel universally acknowledged that they have not seen any effect on their operations, other than a drop in some industrial-sponsored collaborative programs. Use of some unique facilities at government laboratories, such as the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), might be affected at some later date by industrial pharmaceutical companies, which are currently experiencing financial difficulties.