Throughout its history, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has championed innovations—new and better ways of getting highways planned, designed, built and maintained. That emphasis on finding a better way is still a basic element at the agency's core.
Coming up with an innovation is only half the job: Just as important—and often, more challenging—is getting the innovation into everyday use, and doing so quickly. In April 2012, the FHWA established a new entity within its organizational structure, the Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI). The CAI administers cross-cutting programs for advancing and deploying innovations which require collaboration with FHWA units, State DOTs, local public agencies, and other partners within the highway transportation community.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has championed innovations—new and better ways of getting highways planned, designed, built and maintained throughout its history. In April 2012, the FHWA established the Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI) to serve as the focal point for coordination of internal and external efforts to identify and prioritize innovations by developing, launching, and administering strategic innovation deployment programs such as Every Day Counts (EDC).
In the administration of these cross-cutting programs, the CAI is responsible for developing a national network for innovation deployment and for stakeholder collaboration within the highway transportation community, most notably through the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) network. The CAI works with FHWA Division Office EDC Coordinators and Innovation Deployment Teams to compile information on the state-of-the-practice, as well as the innovation implementation goals, of States and other partners. The CAI website provides access to a variety of resources including information on innovations, technical assistance, and funding opportunities.
The TIDP includes three initiatives: accelerated innovation deployment (AID), second strategic highway research program (SHRP2), and accelerated implementation and deployment of pavement technologies. The TIDP relates to all aspects of highway transportation including planning, financing, operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, and construction.
Through MAP-21, the cross-cutting innovation deployment programs administered by the CAI are funded through the TIDP. The TIDP enables filling the critical need to turn research products into proven technologies and demonstrated practices, identify the market forces that will influence successful technology and innovation deployment, and plan and deliver effective communication to promote rapid adoption of proven, market-ready technologies and innovations. After technologies have gone through testing and evaluation processes and are successfully deployed, the TIDP assists the accelerated implementation and adoption as standard practices by State DOTs and other stakeholders. The TIDP funding supports innovations through final analysis, pilots, demonstrations, marketing, communications, and promotional activities. The TIDP includes three initiatives: accelerated innovation deployment (AID), future strategic highway research program (SHRP2), and accelerated implementation and deployment of pavement technologies.
The TIDP relates to all aspects of highway transportation including planning, financing, operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, and construction. The following are the TIDP goals as indicated in Section 52003 of MAP-21 and 503(c) of 23 U.S.C.:
- Significantly accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies by the surface transportation community.
- Provide leadership and incentives to demonstrate and promote state-of-the-art technologies, elevated performance standards, and new business practices in highway construction processes that result in improved safety, faster construction, reduced congestion from construction, and improved quality and user satisfaction.
- Construct longer-lasting highways through the use of innovative technologies and practices that lead to faster construction of efficient and safe highways and bridges.
- Improve highway efficiency, safety, mobility, reliability, service life, environmental protection, and sustainability.
- Develop and deploy new tools, techniques, and practices to accelerate the adoption of innovation in all aspects of highway transportation.