The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 54-17 [Active (Synthesis)]

State DOT Innovation Programs and Practices
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $55,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/29/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Edward Harrigan
Research Agency: CTC and Associates
Principal Investigator: Chris Kline
Fiscal Year: 2023

Preliminary Scope

The culture of innovation across state transportation agencies continues to grow and strengthen. Agencies are realigning their workforces to focus more directly on innovation as it relates to internal organizational excellence and external program and project development and delivery, as both aspects highly complement each other. Unlike research activities, which have established programs and processes, innovation programs are relatively new. Consequently, transportation agencies are primarily learning from each other through informal information exchanges. A synthesis of current practice in this area is needed to assist DOTs in this exchange regarding implementation and growth of innovation programs.

The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT current innovation programs, practices, policies, tools, management techniques, and workflows.

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):
• Identification of state DOTs that have Chief Innovation Officers (CIOs) or similar roles;
• Organizational charts for state DOT innovation offices, including roles and responsibilities;
• Supporting programs (e.g., Innovation Challenges, Innovation Days, Awards and Recognition programs);
• Funding sources for innovation programs;
• Culture of innovation self-assessment tools; and
• Internal and external communication and marketing strategies.

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):
• NCHRP Research Report 885: Guide to Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation for Departments of Transportation. 2018.
• NCHRP Project 20-68A, Scan 18-02: “Leading Practices in Modifying Agency Organization and Management to Accommodate Changing Transportation Systems”. 2018.
• NCHRP Project 20-123(09): “Feasibility Study for a Platform to Capture Innovations from State Departments of Transportation”. 2021.
• AASHTO Innovation Initiative and Innovation Community of Practice .
• FHWA Office of Transportation Workforce Development and Technology Deployment.  


TRB Staff
Edward Harrigan
Phone: 540-454-2149
Email: eharrigan@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: October 28, 2022, Virtual meeting
Teleconference with Consultant: TBD
Second Panel: TBD

Topic Panel
Amanda Gilman-Bogie, Vermont Agency of Transportation
Cynthia Jones, Ohio Department of Transportation
Todd May, Indiana Department of Transportation
Mustafa Mohamedali, Washington State Department of Transportation
Ned Parrish, Idaho Department of Transportation
Kevin Pete, Texas Department of Transportation
Dara Wheeler, California Department of Transportation
Brian Worrel, Iowa Department of Transportation
Sara Lowry, Federal Highway Administration
Claire Randall, Transportation Research Board

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