The National Academies

NCHRP 20-33 [Completed]

Facilitating the Implementation of Research Findings

  Project Data
Funds: $499,935
Research Agency: RAND
Principal Investigator: Tora K. Bikson
Effective Date: 12/1/1993
Completion Date: 1/15/1996

The project identified and described the factors that influence positively and negatively the application and use of research results in surface transportation, delineated strategies that are expected to promote this implementation, recommended themes for future research to test the more viable strategies for moving transportation research results into practice, and presented recommendations to help senior managers and decision makers in the transportation community pursue more effective implementation of research results.

In recent years, there has been unprecedented commitment to the conduct of research. Underlying this increased commitment to research is the belief that "research pays off" by yielding innovative products and processes that will benefit transportation users and providers. However, as pointed out in TRB Special Report 202, "America's Highways: Accelerating the Search for Innovation," "Research often fails to change practice because of limited understanding, organizational inertia, inflexible standards, preoccupation with first costs, mistrust of change, or a desire to perpetuate jobs." To improve technology transfer and facilitate the implementation of research findings in surface transportation, there was a need to recognize and address the significant factors that influence implementation, to identify the characteristics of organizations that have succeeded in being innovative, and to develop and apply strategies for the creation of an environment conducive to innovation and timely application of research findings.

Research included a review of relevant literature, site visits to state departments of transportation, a workshop of representatives of state and local agencies and the private sector, and a national survey of officials in state, county, and city transportation agencies. NCHRP Report 382, "Facilitating the Implementation of Research Findings: A Summary Report," provides a summary of the work performed under this project.

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