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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-047    Date:  September 2017
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-047
Date: September 2017


4. Using the Results of TRL Assessments

The results of TRL Assessments can be used strategically to support the goals of the agency sponsoring the research. For example, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program sponsors longer term and higher risk research. The program seeks to fund cutting-edge research that can provide improvements to national transportation systems. To maximize the value of its research and ensure that important results are not forgotten, the EAR Program uses TRL Assessments along with other tools to help identify which research products would benefit from follow-on support and which audiences would be interested in the results. TRL Assessments provide a useful foundation for the use of other research planning and evaluation tools, such as logic models and mind maps, by subjectively capturing the current level of maturity of a research project. In addition, because TRL Assessments typically identify possible next steps to advance a research project to a higher TRL, these assessments can be used as the basis for scoping cost and level of effort for future research work plans. Figure 6 suggests where on the TRL Scale various Federal transportation-related research programs fall, as well as potential hand-off points among funders working at different TRLs.

It is important to designate a notetaker in advance of the panel meeting. The notetaker’s job will be easier if the person is familiar with the TRL process and technology. It is, therefore, important to be clear about technical jargon, acronyms, and implicit assumptions.




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