The Legislature created the Board’s research program in 1971 and identified it as an integral part of an effective air pollution control program. With the mandate as its foundation, the program encompasses all aspects of air pollution. CARB’s research program continues to play an important role in meeting the challenges of increasingly stringent federal air quality standards and long-term climate goals, and serves as the foundation for effective regulatory decisions. The program sponsors fundamental air pollution and climate studies, supports the development of new and innovative pollution-reduction strategies, and evaluates ongoing programs and regulatory efforts. To assist the Board in managing a technically sound research program, the Legislature created the Research Screening Committee to oversee the program. CARB’s scientific technical staff serve as contract managers and closely monitor and manage the work performed by outside contractors.
A New Planning Process
CARB has previously released Research Plans on an annual basis. These Plans have described past and current research, and provided descriptions of research projects that will be funded within a given fiscal year. However, starting in fiscal year 2018-2019, CARB developed the first Triennial Strategic Research Plan in lieu of an annual plan. CARB will to take a list of recommended research projects to the Board each spring, and will develop Strategic Research Plans every three years for Board approval.
The goal of the Triennial Strategic Research Plan is to guide CARB’s research funding to produce timely and credible science to inform key decisions needed to meet air quality, climate goals, environmental justice, and public health goals. Rather than identifying individual research projects, the Plan will identify broad research initiatives that will be the focus of funding for the next three years, resulting in several key advantages:
- Improved communication of CARB’s long-term vision to better identify co-funding and leveraging opportunities with other research funding organizations, state and federal agencies, and internationally.
- Greater transparency and stakeholder involvement in the planning process.
- More responsive research proposals from universities and other groups.
- Increased flexibility to adjust to budget changes and opportunities.
Annual Research Plan
The Annual Research Plan describes the research projects the Board will fund in the following fiscal year. The planning process, open solicitation notice, and previous research planning documents can be viewed on the Planning Process webpage.
Previous Annual Research Plans can be accessed from the left side menu, or by visiting the Plan Archive webpage.
Innovative Clean Air Technologies
From 1993 until 2008, the Board sponsored a program called the Innovative Clean Air Technologies (ICAT) program that co-funded the demonstration of innovative technologies that could reduce air pollution. The program is no longer supported.