Continuing innovation in the practices of U.S. transportation agencies has brought substantial benefits to the nation. Examples of beneficial innovation range from new materials used in pavements and structures, to new ways of collecting and analyzing information about transportation system users and the environment in which the system operates, to new ways of funding the investments needed to improve public safety and efficiency of travel.
Beneficial innovation occurs in any field when new ideas are disseminated and widely adopted by practitioners. Experience in many fields illustrates that expanding the extent of information exchange among practitioners and increasing the rate of the exchange facilitate innovation. The U. S. Domestic Scan Program seeks to foster such exchange and consequently to accelerate innovation within and among transportation agencies. A description of the program is presented under NCHRP Project 20-68A.
To understand and enhance the effectiveness of scans, NCHRP has conducted a series of research activities, including post-scan interviews with scan participants, surveys, and publication reviews to seek tangible evidence of implementation or other change attributable to the scans and to characterize obstacles to technology transfer identified by scan participants. These research activities were conducted under several subcontracts; descriptions of their results are available from the NCHRP Project 20-68A web page. The research continues as an integral part of the Domestic Scan program.