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18 CHAPTER THREE SUCCESSES In research we seek the truth and share it with others. assistance, website information, and newsletters. The vision Depending on how well we share, the people are served. developed in the strategic plan for the program includes a The world changes, and the future opens up to us. (New Mexico Department of Transportation focus on interactive relationships, information exchange, and Research Bureau Brochure) the ability to enrich the knowledge base of the stakeholders (see: There is an LTAP/TTAP center in all 50 states and in 7 regional areas for STRUCTURE AND ELEMENTS OF SUCCESSFUL Native American governments. As a group, the LTAP/TTAP TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER centers have the highest concentration of trained or experi- enced technology transfer professionals in the transportation The highway transportation community has three major tech- community. The centers are typically very familiar with their nology transfer operating styles or approaches. The approach constituencies. They pull into their operations the technologies for each can generally be described as research-unit-led, or knowledge (innovations) suitable for transfer. They find the operating-unit-led, and LTAP/TTAP-center-led. There is right packaging or develop it for the needs of their customers, overlap in techniques and services; however, each of these and they use a broad array of tools and mechanisms to deliver three approaches addresses different needs for technology the innovation. The centers are particularly experienced in transfer. communication and outreach activities, such as instructional activities by means of: The two most common approaches are those led by the research unit and the LTAP/TTAP centers. However, tech- Conferences and symposia, nology transfer is occurring in greater degrees within the Training and short courses, state DOT operating divisions, especially through FHWA and Demonstrations, organizations such as AASHTO, with its sponsored activities, Technical assistance/communications, and committees, and technical peer groups. Print and web-based publications and materials. The research-unit-led technology transfer is primarily com- A detailed list of these activities was prepared for the prised of facilitating the implementation of research results TRB Committee on Technology Transfer and is contained in from its own program or successful research venues includ- Appendix D. The style or approach used by the LTAP/TTAP ing FHWA, AASHTO, or others. For research results pro- centers is one of a central go-between--the transfer agent. duced by its own program, research unit staffs provide or Transfer agents, because of their expertise in identifying tech- enlist the expertise, identify necessary resources, and work in nologies and their thorough knowledge of their constituents, partnership with operating units to do what is needed to put can link the technologies with the users. an innovation into practice. For programs that contract for research, research units have the added role of being a liai- The third approach, operating-unit-led, focuses on the son between the external researcher and the operating unit technology transfer that is pulled into the organization by user. For technologies or innovations originating outside the operating units or through the influence of senior manage- agency, the research unit will perform these same functions, ment who have been exposed to an external technology push but will also act as a magnet and filter to pull those innova- (e.g., a colleague or peer recommending adoption of a tech- tions into the organization. The research unit will then act as nology, an organizational endorsement of an innovation, or a catalyst to get the operating units to adopt the innovation. being enlisted to support an innovation and to be instrumen- tal in the adoption and deployment decisions.) This tech- The LTAP/TTAP-center-led approach is based on the nology transfer is more ad hoc; it occurs most frequently LTAP/TTAP mission: "foster a safe, efficient, environmen- with professionals through communications among technical tally sound transportation system by improving the skill and committees, peer person-to-person discussions, and other gen- knowledge of local transportation providers through training, eral word of mouth. The technology transfer happens when a technical assistance, and technology transfer." Core services viable innovation is brought to the attention of prospective to clients provided by the centers are training programs, new users within these networks. Generally there is no assigned and existing technology dissemination, personalized technical responsibility or defined position within operating units for