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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

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Publication Number:      Date:  May/June 2004
Issue No: Vol. 67 No. 6
Date: May/June 2004


Internet Watch

by Terry D. Halkyard

FHWA Launches Research and Technology Web Site

Staying abreast of the latest and most accessible transportation research and technologies can be challenging as the Nation's transportation system improves so quickly and in so many areas. To expedite technology transfer, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently identified several new, market-ready technologies that offer solutions to high-priority transportation problems. (See Communication Product Updates, page 66.)

Screenshot: The 'FHWA Research and Technology' Web site.
The "FHWA Research and Technology" Web site.

The FHWA Research and Technology (R&T) Leadership Team created a Web site to share information on these priority technologies and the framework for selecting them. The "FHWA Research and Technology" site (www.fhwa.dot.gov/crt/index.cfm) serves as the focal point for agency-wide R&T information, supporting FHWA's declared role as "innovators for a better future" and leaders of the national R&T partnership initiative.

Posted on the site is the FHWA Corporate Master Plan for Research and Deployment of Technology & Innovation (FHWA-RD-03-077), published in spring 2003. With input from FHWA stakeholders, the Corporate Master Plan, or CMP, was framed around 7 guiding principles and 26 agency commitments. With the adoption of the CMP, the R&T Leadership Team formally took on the responsibility of improving agencywide business related to research and deployment of technologies and innovations. FHWA has moved from the initial planning stages to implementing the 26 agency commitments.

Priority, Market-Ready Technologies And Innovations

The site contains several topics of public interest, including the latest list of FHWA's priority, market-ready technologies and innovations (T&Is). The featured T&Is are ones that FHWA believes warrant special attention.

The list does not include all available T&Is but only those ready to be marketed in the field. In addition, many T&Is are valued as particularly viable concepts, practices, and/or success stories that should continue to be shared. FHWA intends the initial list to be a living document, and a process will be developed for reviewing and updating the T&Is.

The FHWA priority, market-ready T&Is include eight technologies approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' (AASHTO) Technology Implementation Group (TIG). AASHTO created the TIG to identify high-payoff, ready-to-use technologies, and to champion the implementation and deployment of technologies, products, or processes that are likely to yield significant economic or qualitative benefits to users throughout the country.

R&T Initiatives

The "FHWA Research and Technology" site also includes a collection of reports on FHWA R&T program initiatives. When complete, the set of reports will provide a summary of initiatives in 12 priority areas, such as asset management, environment, and partnerships. The program areas described in the initiatives roughly correspond to the traditional R&T budget line items. The section on partnerships, for example, describes the agency's collaboration with a range of organizations to extend FHWA resources and increase the exchange of information.

Each report presents a concise, one-page statement explaining the issues addressed by that R&T focus area. The reports also include a sampling of notable accomplishments, initiatives, and opportunities for future research investment to advance the state of the art and the delivery of innovation. They also illustrate how FHWA applies innovative technologies and progressive programs to generate returns in safety, mobility, productivity, the natural environment, and national security.

Terry D. Halkyard, P.E. is the technology marketing team leader in theFHWA Office of Research and Technology Services atthe Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA. He has 27 years of public service in State and Federal transportation agencies, 18 of which have been in technology transfer.




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