THE PLACE OF RESEARCH IN DEVELOPING NEW USES OF UNDERGROUND SPACE

This review of research and development (R&D) activities summarizes the results of demand studies, discusses the R & D capabilities of the private sector and government, reviews the mechanisms, reviews the mechanisms available to coordinate R & D activities, discusses priorities in the selection and funding of research projects, and examines R & D expenditures in the public sector. Comments are also made on the future of excavation technology. R & D capabilities in the private sector have not developed to a significant degree, and there is an emphasis in the federal government to justify research on a benefit/cost basis. This together with the shortage of educated people, has contributed to the lack of technological advances. Among the formal and informal mechanisms for the coordination of R & D activity was the formation of the U.S. National Committee on Tunneling Technology within the National Academy of Sciences. In 1971 excavation research was included in the National Science Foundation's Research Applied to National Needs (RANN) Program. The complex excavation requires a balance among the components: fragmentation of the geologic medium, materials removal, and support of the underground openings. Some of the most significant barriers to improved technology are problems associated with legal, environmental, social, labor, and other factors. Mechansims used by the federal government to determine which R & D efforts will be supported are described. The annual expenditures of the public sector (by category) are tabulated. Because of the energy crisis, the primary emphasis and funding in the federal government R & D lies in this area of technology.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 107-114

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130642
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Proceeding
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 7 1976 12:00AM