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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-123(09) [Active]

Feasibility Study for a Platform to Capture Innovations from State Departments of Transportation
[ NCHRP 20-123 (Support for AASHTO Committees and Councils) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Staff Responsibility: Sid Mohan
Research Agency: Public Knowledge, LLC
Principal Investigator: Adam Brown
Effective Date: 1/4/2021

BACKGROUND
Innovations are woven throughout the everyday operations of state departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country. These innovations can range from simple, hand-made widgets to improve a product or a process, to large scale technologies developed and deployed as the result of formal research studies. State DOTs often see that innovations, some with minimal investments and resources, provide benefits that far outweigh the cost of their development and deployment into practice. Several state DOTs have undertaken efforts to capture, monitor, and publicize innovations developed within their organizations, and this has led to a proliferation of disparate and discrete tools, databases, and resources that contain information on those innovations.
Across the country, there is a growing movement among transportation professionals to more effectively and efficiently capture and share innovations. The recently established Innovation Community of Practice, under the aegis of the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation (AASHTO R&I) and the AASHTO Innovation Initiative (AII), and with support from Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI), aims to build on this movement, by providing a regular forum for States to share their innovations.
A need exists for a single “platform” to search for and retrieve information on innovations from all state DOTs and make them available in a readily deployable format to help accelerate or streamline adoption by others. This need has been repeatedly expressed by members of state DOTs, AASHTO committees, FHWA, and other transportation professionals. Similar platforms, such as the Research Program and Project Management (RPPM), AASHTO Product Evaluation List (APEL), and Transport Research International Documentation (TRID) exist on the research and evaluation side, which have proven invaluable to the transportation community over the years.
OBJECTIVE
NCHRP has hired a consultant to undertake a feasibility study for developing a platform (or if required, multiple platforms) to search for and retrieve information on innovations from all state DOTs. The study will provide recommendations on required stakeholder engagement, what platform(s) could be developed (or how to use existing platforms), strategies for compiling datasets to service the platform(s), the cost of developing and maintaining (including staffing and technology needs) the platform(s), and other mechanics around the operation of the platform(s).

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