U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Center for Accelerating Innovation

FHWA Home / Accelerating Innovation / State Transportation Innovation Councils (STIC) / STIC Guidance

STIC Incentive Program Guidance


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive program provides resources to help STICs make innovations standard practice in their States. Under the program, technical assistance and limited funds are available to support or offset the costs of standardizing innovative practices in a State transportation agency (STA) or other public sector STIC stakeholder. The funding opportunity is $100,000 per State per year.


The STIC is the leadership platform in every State to identify critical needs, find best solutions and to get them into practice quickly. Their role is to help facilitate the deployment of innovations and engage the various stakeholders within the State. The STIC is an organizational unit comprised of people from key areas within the State's borders and its transportation community. In addition to State and Federal transportation executives, the STIC includes technical decision-makers, local agencies, regulatory agencies, Local Technical Assistance and Tribal Technical Assistance Programs, metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), and industry members.

Program Background

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) calls for a Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP) that includes three initiatives: accelerated innovation deployment (AID), future strategic highway research program (SHRP 2), 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, construction, and the time between project planning and delivery. It provides technical assistance and training to researchers, developers, and deployers and develops improved tools and methods to accelerate the adoption of proven innovative practices and technologies as standard practices.

Per Section 52003 of MAP-21 and 503(c) of 23 U.S.C., the TIDP goals are the following:

  • 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.

The AID program provides funding and other resources to offset the risk of trying an innovation. Coupled with Section 1304 of MAP-21, AID offers States incentives such as funding and an increased Federal share for projects using innovations.

The AID program is designed to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Establish and carry out demonstration programs.
  • Provide technical assistance and training to researchers and developers.
  • Develop improved tools and methods to accelerate the adoption of proven innovative practices and technologies as standard practices.

This program guidance focuses on the AID program's STIC Incentive, which is administered through the FHWA Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI).

Statutory References

Sections 51001(a)(2) and 52003 of MAP-21 and Section 503(c) of title 23 U.S.C.


Up to $5.3 million per fiscal year is available for the STIC Incentive element. Incentives will be for the Federal share of 80 percent, limited to $100,000 per State each year. The non-Federal match may come from project sponsors or other allowable fund sources.

Entities Eligible for Funding

The STA will be the primary recipient of the funds because the money will be obligated via the Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS). MPOs, local governments, and tribal governments may be recipients through States as sub-recipients. Sub-recipients should also demonstrate how they will meet the requirements of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 18, including financial management standards and audits.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The project will have a statewide impact on making the innovation a standard practice.
  • An innovation deployment team (i.e., STIC) is formally established with a charter, including a membership roster and meeting frequency.
  • The STIC should include STA and FHWA division office members.
  • The activities for which incentives are requested should be included in the STIC's implementation plan and align with TIDP goals.
  • The activities funded through the TIDP should be eligible for Federal-aid assistance and adhere to CFR requirements.
  • The activities in the proposal should be started as soon as practical after notification of selection (preferably within 6 months, but no later than 1 year), and TIDP work must be completed within 2 years.

Activities Eligible for Funding

STIC Incentive may be used to conduct internal assessments; build capacity; develop guidance, standards, and specifications; implement system process changes; organize peer exchanges; offset implementation costs; or conduct other activities the STIC identifies to make an innovation that meets TIDP goals a standard practice in the STA or other public sector STIC stakeholder.

Examples of allowable costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Develop standards and specifications.
  • Develop and deliver training on and an evaluation plan for the innovation.
  • Refine current specifications based on lessons learned from implementing the innovation.
  • Develop memoranda of agreement.
  • Prepare standard operating procedures or technical guidance for the innovation.
  • Prepare a report summarizing the lessons learned and economic analysis of the innovation.
  • Develop a decision matrix for the innovation.
  • Prepare an integration plan, including performance measures.

Examples of non-allowable costs include the following:

  • Food
  • Promotional items
  • Conference attendance
  • Conference booth space rental

The Process

  • CAI sends out memo announcing the availability of funds
  • Division Office or STA creates a formal innovation deployment team if one has not already been established
  • Division Office shares memo with STIC
  • STIC develops proposal(s)
  • Division Office approves the proposal(s) and send request to CAI for funding
  • CAI allocates funds to STA
  • STA requests obligation of funds for STIC project via FMIS
  • Division obligates funds to project(s)
  • STIC provides semi-annual progress/final report to DO, DO to forward reports to CAI
  • Product delivered within 2 years

STIC Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with the STA, local governments, and MPOs in the State, as necessary, to develop applications.
  • Ensure that the work proposal(s) comply with the submission requirements outlined above.
  • Submit the work proposal(s) to the local FHWA division office.
  • Comply with eligibility use of the funds.
  • Obtain 20 percent matching requirement
  • Report progress at STIC meetings.
  • Provide a brief written progress report to the FHWA division office semi-annually.
  • Provide a brief final report (maximum 5 pages) to the FHWA division office that includes project or product description, how the work specifically meets the program criteria, result of the project, challenges, lessons learned and budget.

STA Responsibilities

  • Ensure that the work proposal(s) comply with the submission requirements outlined above.
  • Request obligation of funds for STIC project via FMIS
  • Administer the project(s) to ensure the funds are spent appropriately

FHWA Division Office Responsibilities

  • Provide the solicitation memorandum and this program information to the STIC.
  • Set a schedule for when proposal(s) are due to the division office.
  • Determine eligibility of proposal(s) for STIC Incentive
  • Approves proposal(s)
  • Request funding from CAI (Include a description of the proposed activity, end product, amount requesting, and a statement that all of the STIC Incentive eligibility requirements are met.)
  • Review and approve project authorization request from STA and FMIS
  • Ensure that the AID funds are spent according to the program guidance.
  • Monitor the progress of the project and offer technical assistance if needed.
  • Provide semi-annual reports on the progress of the project and forward the final report to CAI.

FHWA CAI Responsibilities

  • Develop program guidance.
  • Allocate funds to division office.
  • Track available funds, spending levels and deliverables of the program.
  • Share accomplishments and lessons learned nationally.


Mary Huie
Program Coordinator
Center for Accelerating Innovation
(202) 366-3039

Page last modified on September 28, 2015