The National Academies

NCHRP 20-41 [Completed]

Approaches for Increasing Private-Sector Involvement in Highway Innovation Process

  Project Data
Funds: $62,500 (An additional $187,500 will be contributed by others)
Research Agency: TRB
Principal Investigator: Stephen R. Godwin and Thomas R. Menzies
Effective Date: 11/1/1994
Completion Date: 8/31/1996

Providing highway transportation in the United States is a joint public and private enterprise; but despite their mutual dependence, public and private organizations have no established tradition of cooperation or partnership in the search for innovative methods and materials that could improve the delivery of highway service and reduce its costs. Over the past decade, public spending for highway research has increased significantly, but highway agency officials recognize that private-sector participation and partnership are critical to research and, even more importantly, to the technology transfer process that seeks to bring promising new products and techniques into field use.

To explore alternative approaches for increasing private-sector participation in the innovation process for highways, TRB convened a 14-member committee whose membership includes public- and private-sector highway executives and research managers, university highway researchers, and experts in innovation and technology transfer processes.

The study is complete, and the committee recommended the establishment of a Strategic Forum for Innovation in Highway Infrastructure. The forum would involve public- and private-sector officials in devising strategies for making rules, regulations, and practices for the highway industry more conducive to innovation. The final committee report was released in September 1996 as TRB Special Report 249, "Building Momentum for Change."

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