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

This summary report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-038     Date:  February 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-038
Date: February 2018


Concluding Materials


The Federal Government has the responsibility to fund and conduct R&T activities to meet highway transportation challenges and significantly advance technology innovation when private investment is neither present nor sufficient to meet public need.(47) The FHWA R&T Agenda considers future transportation issues from two perspectives: challenges and research components designed to meet those challenges.(7) Four of the eight research components (Infrastructure, Operations, Safety, and EAR) take place under the guidance of FHWA’s Office of Corporate Research, Technology, and Innovation Management (HRTM).(4) Advancing these research components will require continually reexamining and improving the process of selecting and executing research projects, disseminating findings, supporting user adoption, and assessing impact.

FHWA’s CMP emphasizes performance evaluation and measurement.(3) In addition, HRTM leadership has adopted a Strategic Plan to guide work at TFHRC. One of the plan’s long-term goals (goal 5) is to calibrate HRTM’s efforts to promote the adoption of research findings.(3) The plan makes explicit that dissemination of knowledge requires engaging external partners and targeting outreach. Evaluation can serve in the search for effective alignment by revealing the relationships between outreach, dissemination, transition, and increased performance. These relationships are the focus of the FHWA R&T Evaluation Program.

The FHWA R&T Evaluation Program has been designed to further HRTM’s transparency, accessibility, and responsiveness of R&T for stakeholders. To support a more coordinated research agenda, FHWA has organized, clarified, and communicated FHWA’s R&T mission, vision, goals, and priorities. By sharing this information, FHWA hopes to encourage highway researchers to identify and fill research gaps, reduce unnecessary duplication of research efforts, stimulate collaborative research efforts, and accelerate innovation. In its initial year, the FHWA R&T Evaluation Program worked with 9 FHWA offices to identify 16 projects for evaluation across all program areas. The evaluations represent a mix of retrospective and prospective studies and range in schedule from 6 months to 4 years or more. As of September 30, 2016, six evaluation teams have submitted final evaluation reports. Ten evaluations remain in progress.

FHWA has developed and customized procedures to simultaneously execute multiple related highway-research evaluations. Guides, templates, checklists, and other tools are in place to ensure quality control and prevent duplicated effort. These tools will enable the team to spend more energy on research design, data collection, and analysis while continuing to issue reports that are similar in style and highly readable. The evaluation team will continue to work with FHWA R&T and program offices to produce accurate evaluations that are useful in shaping the Nation’s highway research and technology agenda.




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