Long-Term Stewardship The economic impact tools of SHRP 2 would increase greatly in value if a mechanism were developed for adding new cases to the case-based segment. To this end, an owner or steward of the product would need to provide a method for users to add cases, as well as trained staff to review and edit the cases and integrate them into the product.
Good estimates of the cost of implementing research products are difficult to derive. Different terminology is used in different industries; the boundaries between research and development and between development and field trials or demonstrations are not clearly or consistently defined. The private sector often considers breakdowns of these costs to be proprietary information. The costs of implementation are sometimes borne by numerous entities, so reports from one source may underestimate the real costs. An “off-the-record” estimate from a major U.S. firm set the cost of the implementation phase of new product development at approximately 10 times the cost of research.
In the case of the first SHRP, approximately $150 million (1991 dollars) was appropriated for FHWA specifically for the first 6 years of the implementation effort; this figure is equivalent to nearly $240 million in 2008 dollars. Additional federal support for SHRP 1 implementation came from other FHWA discretionary research and technology funds but was not tracked by the agency as SHRP 1 implementation spending. Estimates of federal support are only part of the equation. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) contributed $14 million to SHRP 1 implementation when federal funds proved insufficient. No comprehensive data are available, but anecdotal accounts from state and federal officials suggest that state DOTs spent at least as much in state funds to implement the results of SHRP 1 as FHWA spent in federal funds.
Inasmuch as this report was requested by Congress, the committee confines itself to assessing the financial requirements for SHRP 2 implementation that would most appropriately be provided at the federal level. These are costs that individual users would find difficult or impossible to bear or that would be handled more effectively in a centralized manner. Table 7-2 provides rough estimates of required federal funding for SHRP 2 implementation over a 6-year period for each key implementation strategy. These budget estimates were developed by assessing the implementation needs of