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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
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-02-101
Date: January 2003

FY 2002 Performance Report

II. The Strategic Framework

The FHWA R&T Program

Managing FHWA's R&T program and communicating with our partners are important components of the RD&T mission. Like the R&T program, the RD&T program directly supports FHWA's and DOT's goals. FHWA's research approach emphasizes cooperation, information sharing, and formal research agenda development with State and local governments, academia, and the private sector. The RD&T Performance Plan illustrates RD&T's alignment with the DOT and FHWA vision, mission, and goals; documents the action agenda that will produce results; and lists the RD&T products and services.

Vision and Mission

The FHWA Leadership Team recently reexamined FHWA's vision, mission, and roles. In the new mission statement, "Enhancing Mobility through Innovation, Leadership and Public Service," FHWA affirms that research and innovation are integral to its mission. In fact, one of FHWA's three primary roles is to be "innovators for a better future." This key rewording of the mission statement reflects R&T's important contribution to enhancing mobility, and it underscores FHWA's commitment to organizationally "raising the bar" on technology and innovation development and deployment.

DOT Vision
A visionary and vigilant Department of Transportation leading the way to transportation excellence in the
21st Century.
FHWA Vision
Improving transportation for a
strong America.
RD&T Vision
An RD&T organization that is essential, indispensable, and connected to our partners in advancing research and technology.
DOT Mission
Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today, and into the future.
FHWA Mission
Enhancing mobility through innovation, leadership, and public service.
RD&T Mission
Leads in developing a nationally coordinated research and technology program; champions the advancement of highway technological innovation in support of FHWA strategic goals and performance objectives; advances knowledge through research, development, testing, and evaluation services; and provides support and assistance throughout FHWA in matters relating to research, development, and technology.

FHWA Goals for FY 2002

Safety—Improve highway safety.

Mobility—Improve the public's access to activities, goods, and services through preserving, improving, and expanding the highway transportation system, and enhancing its operations, efficiency, and intermodal connections.

Productivity—Improve the economic efficiency of the Nation's transportation system to enhance America's position in the global economy.

Human and Natural Environment—Protect and enhance the natural environment and communities affected by highway transportation.

National Security—Improve the Nation's national defense mobility.

Organizational Excellence—Advance FHWA's ability to manage organizational resources, to improve customer service and satisfaction, and to successfully deploy technologies and innovations.

FHWA "Vital Few"

Safety, Congestion Mitigation, and Environmental Stewardship and Streamlining can best be described as the Agency "to do" list. These goals reflect FHWA's desire to commit resources in areas where critical performance gaps exist and where the greatest impact can be made. In the next 3 to 5 years, our performance in these areas will define success for FHWA and affirm the need for a Federal role in highway transportation.

FHWA Roles

Based on discussions at the FHWA annual meeting, the Agency developed a new technology and innovation role statement, which affirms FHWA's new mission and declares our identity:

  • Innovators for a Better Future—To support the role of "Innovators for a Better Future," TFHRC leadership commits to:

    • Coordinating R&D with and for our stakeholders and partners;

    • Supporting an environment that encourages innovation deployment; and

    • Creating improved technology and innovation deployment processes.

    In light of these guiding principles, the TFHRC provides FHWA, its stakeholders, and customers—the world highway community—with the most advanced research and development related to new highway technologies—focusing on solutions to complex technical problems by developing economical, environmentally sensitive designs; efficient, quality controlled constructions practices; and durable materials, all of which will create a safer, more reliable highway transportation system.

  • Leaders for National Mobility—defining future transportation systems and advocating highway system excellence.

  • Stewards for National Highway Programs—"raising the bar" on performance and ensuring financial accountability.

Corporate Role in Research and Deployment of Technology and Innovation

In FY 2002, FHWA completed a restructuring assessment to examine the state of its current organizational structure. The restructuring assessment team conducted 160 focus groups and structured interviews, 85 with external stakeholders and 75 with FHWA employees.

FHWA's "raising the bar" initiative supports the Agency's role as "Innovators for a Better Future." The initiative addresses recommendations from the FHWA restructuring assessment, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Research and Technology Coordination Committee's (RTCC) TRB Special Report 261, The Federal Role in Highway Research and Technology, and the recommendations from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) report on highway research. A new position of Director for Research, Technology, and Innovation Deployment was created, reporting to the Associate Administrator for RD&T. The strategy is to develop an FHWA "Corporate Master Plan for Research and Technology and Innovation Deployment." The plan will cover all phases, including setting research agendas, increasing the role of external stakeholders, using "roadmaps" (multiyear plans), evaluating research results, and deploying technology.

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