The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has championed innovations throughout its history — through supporting new and better ideas to get highways planned, designed, built, and maintained. In April 2012, the FHWA established the Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI) to serve as the focal point for internal and external coordination to identify and prioritize innovations. The Every Day Counts (EDC) program provides an “On-Ramp to Innovation” by developing, launching, and administering strategic innovation deployment throughout the country. FHWA works with stakeholders to identify a new collection of proven yet underutilized innovations every two years. The CAI fosters collaboration between stakeholders within the transportation community through the State Transportation Innovation Councils (STIC) network. The STIC is a national network that brings together public and private transportation stakeholders to evaluate innovations and spearhead their deployment in each State.
The CAI is one of four innovation-focused centers within the FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery (OIPD).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.
Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (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. CAI administers the AID Demonstration program as an incentive for eligible entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption of proven innovation in highway transportation. The STIC Incentive program provides resources to help STICs foster a culture for innovation and make innovations standard practice in their States.
The TIDP relates to all aspects of highway transportation including planning, financing, operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, and construction. 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 accelerated innovation deployment through final analysis, pilots, demonstrations, marketing, communications, and promotional activities. The following are the TIDP goals as indicated in Section 1444 of the FAST Act and 503(c)(1) 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.