The basic principles governing Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Research and Technology (R&T) investments are outlined in Title 23 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 5: Research, Technology, and Education, and reinforced in Division E of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the latest surface transportation authorization bill.
These guiding principles state that the Federal Government has the responsibility to fund and conduct surface transportation research, development, and technology transfer activities when the work is of national significance and in research areas where there is a clear public benefit and where private investment is not optimal. The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) responsibility is to assure that State and local governments use national resources efficiently, and to present the best means to support Federal policy goals compared with other policy alternatives.
The role of FHWA is to conduct research; to support and facilitate research and technology transfer activities by State highway agencies; to share the results of completed research; and to support and facilitate technology and innovation deployment.
The Research and Technology (R&T) Program includes fundamental, long-term highway research—research aimed at significant highway research gaps and emerging issues with national implications and research related to policy and planning. The FHWA is responsible for addressing the needs of stakeholders and facilitating a competitive approach to grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for research and development projects and programs.
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)
The most recent transportation authorization bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), authorizes and provides funding for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 for three FHWA-administered research, technology, and education programs; the State-administered State Planning and Research Program; and three programs administered by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration.
State Planning and Research Program (SP&R). States are required to set aside funds for the State Planning and Research (SP&R) Program. Out of four Federal-aid formula program allocations from Division A, Title I of MAP-21, the States must set aside 2 percent for planning and research purposes. At least 25 percent of these funds must be used for research, development, and technology purposes. States use these funds to conduct research aimed at solving specific transportation issues that arise at the State level, or they may leverage these funds by applying them toward Transportation Pooled Fund projects. States can also use these funds as the non-Federal match for Local/Tribal Technical Assistance Program (LTAP/TTAP) centers and for the University Transportation Centers. In addition, States have agreed to contribute 4 percent of SP&R funds for the Future Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) implementation. For more information on the SP&R program, visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/partnership/spr/.
Future Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Implementation. MAP-21 authorizes FHWA to lead and coordinate SHRP2. The SHRP2 was authorized in 23 U.S.C. 510 and funded through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), and its extensions from fiscal year 2006 through fiscal year 2012, with the vision to address some of the most pressing needs related to the Nation’s highway system, including:
The SHRP2 focuses applied research on four crucial areas:
The use of funds for the implementation of SHRP2 findings was authorized for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. With the passage of MAP-21, the implementation of SHRP2 findings and results is authorized for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 through 23 U.S.C. 503(c)(2)(C), under the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP). In addition to being eligible to receive funding through TIDP, 23 U.S.C. 505(c) stipulates that the States shall make available to the Secretary of Transportation a percentage of apportioned State planning and research funds for SHRP2 implementation that is agreed upon by three-fourths of the States for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.
Finally, MAP-21 also authorizes three programs administered by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration:
For more information on these three programs, visit http://www.rita.dot.gov/offices.
In 2003, FHWA leadership accepted the challenge to "raise the bar" on R&T and adopted a strategic management framework developed with input from stakeholders. See Corporate Master Plan (CMP) for Research and Deployment of Technology & Innovation (FHWA-RD-03-077)
|»||Clarification of Policy on Indirect Costs of State and Local Governments|
|»||FHWA, State DOT, and MPO Rights to Copyrighted and Patented Items Developed with FHWA Planning and Research Funds|
|»||Guidance on Use of SPR Funds for Travel and Training|
|»||Peer Exchange Policy for State Planning and Research|
|»||State Planning and Research Guide For Peer Exchanges|
|»||Transportation Pooled Fund Program Guidelines|
|»||FHWA Legislation, Regulations, and Guidance|
|»||Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)|
|»||Title 23 Chapter 5 USC|
|»||23 CFR Part 420|
|»||49 CFR Part 18|
|»||49 CFR Part 19|
|»||For complete information about Titles 23 & 49, visit the Government Printing Office (GPO) United States Code Web Page|
|»||The GPO also provides complete information regarding the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).|