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19 managing this type of technology transfer, although aware- Technology Push ness of this function is growing. Although this approach is not as formal as the other two, it is very effective because it One significant factor affecting successful technology trans- is uniquely user- and needs-driven. The technology would not fer is the push that technology exerts on prospective users. be pulled into the operating unit unless it had a high potential This technology push occurs often in the new product devel- for successful adoption. opment area when vendors seek to sell an innovation to a state DOT or local government. States have formal processes To more effectively assist in the implementation of for new product introductions and the assistance of the Na- research results, research units are striving to be more inte- tional Transportation Product Evaluation Program sponsored grated with the operations of their respective agencies. by AASHTO. However, there are other avenues for technol- ogy to be brought into an organization. One of the primary There is a shift in some of the state DOTs to work more routes is through the AASHTO Technology Implementation closely with the research units when an operation-unit-led Group (TIG). TIG is a combination of technology market- opportunity appears. This is a helpful trend, because it can ing by transportation experts within AASHTO and the push provide more technology transfer expertise to the imple- of the actual technologies--that is, the attractive or com- mentation effort and add some additional structure to that pelling benefits exhibited by the technologies are sufficient effort. to gain notice by a prospective user organization. Very often TIG activities are operation-unit-led, because they involve The following sections of this document primarily address technologies outside the results produced by the agency's the research-unit-led and LTAP/TTAP-center-led technol- research unit. ogy transfer activities. Where appropriate the operating-unit- led efforts will be addressed; however, the ad hoc nature of The following Technology Application Note on AASHTO their technology transfer can make the processes difficult to TIG is an example of a mechanism that pushes technology out record in any systematic manner. from one successful user to other potential users. Technology Application Notes are short narratives providing an illustra- tive example of the various factors that positively affect the FACTORS AFFECTING SUCCESSFUL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER success of technology transfer or implementation. The following factors all strongly correlate with successful AASHTO TIG technology transfer or implementation of research results. AASHTO created TIG to identify high-payoff, ready-to-use These factors were identified through a review of the literature, technologies and to champion the use of the technologies interviews, and particularly from the survey responses. The throughout the country. The group works with the AASHTO Standing Committee on Research and the Research Advisory literature highlighted marketplace forces as being an influ- Committee to identify new technologies. Gary Hoffman, TIG ential factor for private-sector technology transfer. Although Chair, Deputy Secretary of Pennsylvania DOT notes that: "One of the criteria is that at least one state has used the tech- the technology marketing and technology push factor has nology and is willing to champion it." TIG considers whether its origins in the marketplace, it is included because of its the technology meets a need or solves a problem in the trans- applicability to public-sector practice. portation system, how effective the technology is, what costs are involved, and the ease of widespread implementation. The literature and the practice of the organizations and Once TIG has selected a technology for fast-track treatment, a lead state team develops and carries out a strategic plan for programs reviewed for this synthesis support the concept that delivering the technology to users. Activities are tailored to each use of any of these factors is a positive move toward success. technology and may include the development of training pro- Additionally, using multiple factors for each technology trans- grams and materials, as well as sending out teams to help agen- cies learn how to apply the technology (Schweppe 2003, p. 25). fer or implementation project is better than using only one or two. The factors discussed are: The TIG process is relatively new and there are lessons being learned such as the critical role of the champion and the need for fully ready-to-implement technologies. TIG introduced three · Technology Push technologies each year from 2001 to 2003. Three of these · Champions technologies stand out as particularly successful for imple- mentation in the states: · Pilots Projects and Demonstrations · Senior Management Support · Fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) repair of overhead · Early Involvement of Users sign structures, · Air void analyzer, and · Technology Transfer or Implementation Plan · Prefabricated bridge elements and systems. · Qualified Technical Personnel in Lead Roles TIG originated from the successful AASHTO Strategic High- · Partnerships way Research Program (SHRP) Implementation Task Force, · Progress Monitoring and Committed Funding which instituted the lead state concept and successfully fos- · Focus Area for Technology Transfer Effort tered implementation of SHRP products. · Marketing and Communications Some of the items that facilitate success for the TIG program · Benefits of the Technology--Meeting Users' Needs. are the success of the innovation in the original application,
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20 the credibility of the initial users who bring the success expe- Marketing of technologies and the push of the techno- rience to the attention of peers, the willingness of the state DOT that proposes the innovation to spend time and resources logies increase the opportunity for successful technology to replicate the success alongside other state DOTs, the re- transfer. Marketing alone will not guarantee success; how- view of the innovation and acceptance by a national program ever, the information and knowledge it conveys assists a sponsored by such a trusted organization as AASHTO, use of the network established within AASHTO to further com- potential user in making the decisions necessary for deter- munications about the innovation, and more. (See: http:// mining whether a technology should be considered for adop- www.aashtotig.org/tig/.) tion and deployment. The push of the technology--primarily (K. Kobetsky, personal communication, Dec. 2, 2004.) its benefits--is an important booster of success. The bene- fits of the technology create added perseverance in those The technology transfer process for the AASHTO TIG is who perform technology transfer. Users will work harder at contained in Appendix E. the technology transfer to realize the benefits. (See also the discussion in Benefits of the Technology--Meeting Users' A second program influencing the successful transfer of Needs later in this chapter.) technology is FHWA's Priority, Market-Ready Technolo- gies and Innovations initiative. FHWA selected 20 technolo- Although marketing is important, there are two factors of gies and also included 9 identified by AASHTO TIG as its success used by the TIG program and the FHWA Priority, Market-Ready Technologies. The criteria for selection of these Market-Ready Technologies initiative. For both of these technologies and innovations were: technology transfer activities the technologies are screened and determined by peers to have a likelihood of successful · Do they support agency priorities, including strategic implementation. Second, the vehicles that convey the tech- goals? nology, particularly evident in the TIG process, are tried and · Is there a user need and likelihood of implementation? · Are they developed to the point of being truly market- tested. That is, the process to get the technology transferred ready, with tool(s) available for the field to market? has been done successfully before. Both of these factors, · Is expertise available to support deployment and imple- peer-reviewed innovations and proven technology transfer mentation? vehicles, substantially enhance the opportunity for success. A list of the Priority, Market-Ready Technologies and Inno- Additional success factors were addressed by questions in vations is provided at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/rnt4u/pti.htm. the surveys conducted in conjunction with this synthesis. The responses highlighted a number of strategies and tactics that FHWA, through its Resource Center and division offices, are considered factors influential in promoting success in is strongly promoting these technologies. Technical resources technology transfer. Survey respondents were asked to iden- and guidance from FHWA are available to facilitate the tech- tify successful techniques, practices, or processes that their nology transfer of these innovations to transportation agen- organizations used for accomplishing technology transfer. cies. This process of identifying market-ready technologies The respondents were also asked to provide insight to suc- is new and still developing. Currently, not all of the tech- cesses based on a recent experience in technology transfer or nologies have been implemented and some may require addi- implementation of research results (see Figures 3 and 4). tional development. As with TIG, this program is identifying promising technologies and partnering with states to produce For each of these success factors rated by the state DOTs a more streamlined and effective mechanism to introduce and LTAP/TTAP centers there is a section that discusses innovation to the highway system. the factor and provides additional information about its Champion Support Pilot Projects/Demos Senior Mgmt. Support Factors User Involvement Implementation Plan Qualified Technical Leader Progress Monitoring Dedicated Funding for T2 n = 38 Other 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Number of Responses FIGURE 3 Success factors for technology transfer--State DOT. (Multiple responses were permitted.) T2 = technology transfer.
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21 Qualified Technical Personnel T2 Plan Senior Management Support Early User Involvement Factors T2 Champion Pilot Project Use, Field Demos Dedicated T2 Funding Progress Monitoring n = 22 Other 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Number of Responses FIGURE 4 Success factors for technology transfer--LTAP/TTAP. (Multiple responses were permitted.) T2 = technology transfer. characteristics. These discussions are contained later in this · Champions at the district level fostered user "ownership." chapter. In addition, several of the state DOT respondents · The champion recognized future benefits. indicated that partnerships with other agencies was a success · Champions provided needed impetus for introduction factor for their activities, as well as were benefits of the inno- to change. vation and the flexibility of the technology transfer process · Champions create a faster buy-in with management and to accommodate issues such as changes to the budget or staff workers. losses during the project. The LTAP/TTAP respondents also mentioned that an adequate supply of materials (resources to On average, LTAP/TTAP centers considered the presence perform the project) were a necessary success factor as were of champions a less important factor than did the state DOTs. client endorsements of the technology, strong communica- Champions are recognized as facilitators for technology trans- tions, and a venue conducive to learning. Because partner- fer, and 60% of respondents considered champions important ships, communications, and benefits of the technology were to the success of the technology transfer. However, many identified as success factors in the literature and through the of the examples of successful technology transfer projects interviews and elsewhere in the survey responses, these factors reported by the centers rated other factors such as training, are also discussed in this section. demonstrations, and workshops as more critical. (See also the discussion on Partnerships in this section for an example of an effective technology transfer champion.) Champions An empowered inventor is an invention's best advo- Pilots Projects and Demonstrations cate. (R.J. Goldman, "Technology Transfer Rehabilitation: Pilot projects and demonstrations are another factor for suc- A Personal Account" 2003, p. x) cess and are considered a valuable addition to the strategies for facilitating technology transfer. More than 80% of respon- For research-unit-led technology transfer, the most success- dents from the research units indicated that pilot projects and ful strategy or factor in a technology transfer situation was demonstrations were important success factors. LTAP/TTAP the presence of a champion. Champions were seen as critical centers rely heavily on workshops, demonstrations, and pilot participants in the successful outcome of the transfer. Cham- projects; however, they did not rate pilot projects and demon- pions were drawn from the practitioners, from management, strations as highly as the state DOTs. However, 50% of the and from within advisory committees. If champions had LTAP/TTAP centers considered pilot projects and demonstra- not been identified, respondents advised finding them and tions a factor for success, which is also a strong endorsement. involving them directly in the project. Champions facilitate One center respondent summed up the importance of this fac- technology transfer in a number of ways. Survey respondents tor by noting that, "People learn best by problem solving and stated that: hands-on applications." · They (champions) would not give up until the project The following Technology Application Note describes a succeeded. program specifically designed to demonstrate products. It is an · The bureaus involved each had a champion that promoted example of how important demonstrations are to the transfer and demonstrated the effectiveness of the equipment. of technology.
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22 Florida LTAP Center The following Technology Application Note on the Ore- Product Demonstration Showcase, "Experience Technology" gon DOT LTAP Center discusses the influence and impact Mission of the Product Demonstration Showcase (PDS) of senior management on the success of technology transfer. Program--Advance the implementation of roadway and bridge technology in the municipal arena by providing decision mak- The Oregon LTAP Center used its Roads Scholar Program as ers a total, start to finish, unbiased, real-time project experi- an example of a successful technology transfer effort. The pro- ence of field-applied technologies and processes. gram is a structured training curriculum in highway construc- tion, preservation, and maintenance technology leading to a The PDS is an information exchange mechanism that can skills level certificate for maintenance and operations employ- reduce or eliminate the financial, professional, and political ees. There was strong support from the Technology Transfer risk public agencies face when committing hard-to-come-by Steering Committee and the Association of Oregon Counties. funds implementing technology when little or no practical field Because of the lead and interest of these organizations' senior experience exists. The process allows hands-on experiences managers, many initial participants for the program were for the participants who interact with knowledgeable peers and employees from the steering committee's organizations. others experienced in the technology application. The training program enhanced skills of the employees, thus Each PDS must include these five elements: enabling them to be more effective in their respective work · A neutral sponsor (LTAP) roles. The support of the senior managers drew attention to · A user agency host participant the program, provided additional program credibility for munic- · Industry/contractor/consultant participant ipal governments not familiar with the training opportunity, and · In-use site visits, for real-time evaluations heightened the priority for organizations considering the train- · A complete live demonstration. ing. Implementation of the training program occurred more rapidly because of the senior mangers' influence. Additionally, These elements are requirements for the PDS to occur. The the success of the initial training built trust in the program and LTAP Center acts as the facilitator, only when the other play- assisted in bringing others to the program. Other success fac- ers agree to be active participants. Each PDS focuses on new tors noted were that champions appeared through the steer- or upgraded solutions to local road and bridge problems. ing committee's involvement, a technology transfer plan was Researchers, end users, and contractor/vendors all partici- created, and that substantial benefits were anticipated as the pate in the showcase information exchange process. Profes- result of other successful programs. sional and elected decision makers gain practical, hands-on experience with new or upgraded products and services in a setting where the perception of bias has been eliminated. Early Involvement of Users Prior to 2003 six showcases were conducted, such as a pave- ment management program implementation solution, a cost- effective solution for paving unpaved roads, and an asphalt A tenet of research results implementation success is to pavement rejuvenation solution. In less than 3 years, nearly involve the user early in the process of the research (Bikson $250 million in local agency improvements and resulting et al. 1996). Participants in technology transfer include this impact occurred as a direct outcome of conducting the six factor in their practice whether it is transferring the results of showcases (Peaslee 2003). research or an existing technology or innovation transfer. For both state DOT research units and LTAP/TTAP centers, this Senior Management Support factor ranks fourth in importance, and is considered a factor for success by nearly 80% of respondents from state DOT Both research units and LTAP/TTAP centers considered the research units and 60% from LTAP/TTAP centers. support of senior management a significant factor for suc- cess. When asked to explain why, responses provided some As reported in the following Technology Application additional insight: Note, the early involvement of bicycle advocates (users) was a primary success factor for the implementation of a safety · Deputy Secretary previously served as the Director of device for Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT) highways. Materials Research. · Senior management has to make the investment deci- PennDOT--Bicycle-Friendly Shoulder Rumble Strips sions. Shoulder rumble strips reduce run-off-the road vehicle crashes · Senior management mandated use of the innovation. on urban and rural freeways. Because of the potential for · Received support from the legislature. reductions of crashes, PennDOT considered installing shoul- der rumble strips on non-freeway facilities. However, as shoul- der rumble strip installations were extended to non-freeway From these responses, it is clear that decision makers facilities, bicyclists would encounter rumble strips more fre- are influential in the technology transfer process. They are quently. Understandably, bicyclists were concerned about maneuverability problems while traversing rumble strips. The uniquely different from the technology champion, although strips are very uncomfortable to ride over and may cause loss they may also endorse the innovation. They provide resources of control of the bicycle. and guidance, and they lead by example. They are account- The department's rumble strip configurations were evaluated able for the outcomes and, in some cases, through personal for their potential to be bicycle friendly, yet still retain the alert- experience, readily identify with the technology transfer pro- ing properties for drowsy/inattentive drivers in motor vehicles. cess. Senior management support was ranked the third most Volunteer bicyclists were invited to participate in the study. They rode different types of bicycles over the rumble strip con- influential for success of those factors ranked by both research figurations at different speeds and at different angles. The units and LTAP/TTAP centers. bicyclists' perspectives were incorporated into the research
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23 and were a significant contribution to the research findings. 3. Develop a measuring system that will evaluate the benefits Implementing the research results and transferring the tech- derived from implementing the research results. Whenever nology was facilitated through a primary success factor-- possible, express the benefits in terms of current Mn/DOT per- involvement of the user early in the implementation process, formance measures. in this case, directly in the research effort. The user involve- a. Measure(s) description (What?) ment not only assisted in determining which rumble strip con- b. Measure(s) purpose (Why?) figuration was best for both types of roadway users, it provided c. Measure(s) responsibility (Who?) credibility for PennDOT with its bicycle riding customers, and d. Measure(s) resources and cost (How? How much?) it reduced resistance from bicycle advocates to this roadway e. Measure(s) schedule (When? Where?) improvement. Accompanying this outline for an Implementation Plan is a Research Implementation Guide, which lists ten steps for implementation. The guide also explains the purpose of each Technology Transfer or Implementation Plan step and asks clarifying questions to aid in documenting the appropriate strategies. As indicated in the survey results, research units and LTAP/ · Think about the end results TTAP centers consider having a plan for the conduct of the · Understand the environment · Find the opportunity technology transfer or implementation activities an impor- · Know thy customers tant factor for success. Nearly three-quarters of those respond- · Involve the right players ing to the surveys in both groups endorsed preparing a plan · Explore the most appropriate tool · Make strategic use of resources as a technique that enhances the likelihood of a positive out- · Bring in the experts come. Many state DOT research units are now requiring · Define, define implementation plans at various stages of the research process. · Evaluate and celebrate. A number of states require an implementation plan as a deliv- erable product accompanying the research results. States also A number of organizations use implementation or tech- require implementation plans to initiate the process for fund- nology transfer planning aids. The FHWA RD&T Technol- ing implementation or technology transfer efforts associated ogy Facilities Action Plan is used to finalize action plans for with adoption of an innovation. Additionally, implementa- the delivery of research products from the TurnerFairbank tion plans become working documents that are used to guide Highway Research Center. The form is used by FHWA pro- the implementation process. For the most part the imple- gram offices as well as the researchers to foster more effec- mentation plans are short and relatively easy to prepare. Many tive technology transfer. The Indiana DOT (INDOT) Research Project Implementation Plan is a one-page form that names state DOTs indicated that ease of completing the plan was a the person(s) who will implement the innovation, identifies primary factor. If the plan is easy to complete, it has a higher the items to be implemented, and requires details of resources likelihood of being done. Committing to planning up front needed for the implementation. The Kansas DOT implemen- saves later problems that arise in the form of costs, delays, and tation plan form requests an assessment of the implementa- rework. There is additional discussion on implementation tion potential, asks for a description of the implementation plans in chapter five. strategies, and includes task scheduling and budget estimates. The PennDOT form particularly highlights communications A well-constructed plan is an important success factor for actions to be taken and asks for identification of other actions implementation of research results and technology transfer. that will further the implementation process. These imple- The Technology Application Note here provides an outline mentation planning tools are contained in Appendix F. of the plan used by the Minnesota DOT (Mn/DOT) for the successful implementation of the many results of its research LTAP/TTAP centers also emphasize the need for plans program. and consider planning essential for their technology transfer efforts. The centers use many different experts to conduct their Mn/DOT--Implementation Plan Outline activities. Additionally, the centers have a variety of venues as Mn/DOT has emphasized implementation of research results well as a wealth of types of transfer options. There are a host for many years. Its plan outline allows varying degrees of of details and planning is critical for the success of the trans- detail. Their Implementation Plan Outline is as follows: fer opportunity. Similarly, when the AASHTO TIG initiates 1. Evaluate the results of the research a technology transfer in a state DOT an implementation plan a. Do the results solve the problem? If not, why? is the primary guide for adopting the innovation. b. Are the results implementable? If not, why? c. Can implementation of the results yield benefits? If not, why? Qualified Technical Personnel in Lead Roles 2. Identify each task necessary for implementation and develop a step-by-step scenario describing the implementation process. Top ranked among the success factors for LTAP/TTAP cen- a. Task description (What?) ters is qualified technical personnel in lead roles. Without b. Task purpose (Why?) technical expertise little transfer of knowledge and under- c. Task responsibility (Who?) d. Task resources and cost (How? How much?) standing of an innovation would occur. The existence of e. Detailed schedule of tasks (When? Where?) LTAP/TTAP centers is based on qualified technical staff or
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24 contracted expertise. Without them, workshops, showcases, Partnerships demonstrations, training, road shows, and technical assis- tance would not and could not take place. The credibility of As with qualified technical personnel, the participants in tech- LTAP/TTAP centers is based on the quality of the expertise nology transfer are a factor for success. The team or partner- and the ability to convey to the prospective user sufficient ship formed must have the right skills and abilities to positively knowledge and information for decision making to affect affect the effort. For LTAP/TTAP centers, the participants change. The South Dakota LTAP Center considers as a pri- with the highest average involvement are state DOT program/ mary success factor its "large body of knowledge . . . [its operations personnel, local or municipal experts, university technology transfer] field staff have 150 years of experi- educators or researchers, and state field office personnel. ence." Other LTAP/TTAP centers clearly link success with "qualified instructors," "qualified people assigned [to] the In this Technology Application Note, the key to success lead role," and "a dedicated team of instructors/assistants was the selection of the various participants to form a part- who are available for technical assistance." nership to facilitate technology transfer. This example also shows the benefits of a qualified person in a lead role, the The research units and programs such as TIG have often value of a champion, and the assistance of identifiable bene- identified the technical expertise in the researcher or through fits to facilitate technology transfer. a lead state technical expert. They are already associated with the innovation. Furthermore, in the case of research results Northern Plains Tribal Technology Transfer Program Gravel Road Maintenance and Heavy Equipment Mainte- implementation, the users are brought into the research at an nance Training early stage, thus beginning the technology transfer process. The research units determined that such qualified technical "We couldn't do this without our Tribal Government Partners" capacity was an important success factor, although other fac- The Northern Plains TTAP serves one of the largest land- tors such as champions, pilot programs and demonstrations, based tribal reservations and is located in the north-central and senior management support had higher rankings in the United States. The area is economically depressed, having synthesis survey. at times an unemployment rate in excess of 80%. The TTAP Center, in conjunction with the Tribal Employment Rights Office and the Tribal transportation department, conducted The Technology Application Note that follows illustrates a gravel road maintenance and heavy equipment mainte- the value General Motors assigns to having well-qualified nance training course and pilot project. The training efforts began with classroom work to enable the tribal participants people in lead roles for technology transfer. This company to qualify for becoming certified flaggers and included the specifically trains employees to be the lead as well as be a proper procedures for setting up work zones. The second communication channel for facilitating technology transfer step of classroom training prepared participants for passing commercial driver license testing and operating and main- taining heavy equipment. (Often heavy equipment operators Transferring Technology at General Motors are required to drive their equipment to the project site.) The classroom work positioned the participants for the field pilot, General Motors Research Laboratories (GMR) developed a rebuilding a section of road in the reservation. Practical expe- program to facilitate transferring innovations generated by rience took over and the participants learned in the field how GMR to key corporate locations within the GM Corporation. Its to stake out a road rebuilding project, protect themselves primary methodology was to move critical technical expertise and motorists through appropriate work zone safety, ensure from research into other GM staff and operating units. The pro- their safety in equipment operations and maintenance, and gram focuses on transferring the capabilities of people rather learn hands-on cost-effective and correct equipment main- than of products. Approximately 10% to 15% of GMR's newly tenance procedures. hired engineers and scientists receive intensive training at the research laboratories with the knowledge that they will be Several success factors are noteworthy in this experience. transferred to an operating division. These entry-level employ- Foremost was the selection of the various participants for the ees (technology transfer engineers--TTEs) are provided with program. Without the partnership between the TTAP Center a complex and challenging assignment that is a collaborative and the tribal government, the program would not have suc- project with an operating unit. The TTEs have a technical men- tor within GMR and build expertise in a specific technical area. ceeded. The tribal cooperation brought funds to the project, as The transition of the TTE occurs after up to 18 months in the well as solved one of the hurdles for the technology transfer research unit. During the last 4 to 6 months of the project the effort, finding equipment for the pilot project. Additionally, the TTE begins transitioning to the operating unit. To ease the tran- TTAP Center identified a technically qualified person to be the sition, the TTE has office locations in the research unit and the technical trainer, a former heavy equipment operator and a operating unit and develops relationships with the new organi- tribal member. The trainer established immediate credibility for zation as well as continues ties to GMR. The TTE in time fully the technology transfer project as well as being a champion for transitions to the operating unit and arrives at that position with it. This champion allowed faster buy-in with the transportation viable research effort experience and the potential to lead future director and the workers from the transportation office main- research efforts. The last element of the technology transfer tenance crew. process is that GMR maintains close contact with TTEs and uses them as a conduit through which it can channel its sub- The overall project was very successful because it produced sequent innovations. "TTEs become `centers of technology' at a section of rebuilt roadway, provided workers with marketable the divisional unit and [share their expertise] through consult- skills, and set a standard for safer equipment operations and ing or formal training [of others in the unit]." The TTEs also pro- maintenance within the Tribal Transportation Office. vide a direct link from the operating unit back to GMR, which allows the research unit to be more informed about operating "We always try to make sure what we do has relevance" needs and current activities (Ezzat et al. 1989). (D. Trusty, personal communication, Sep. 2, 2004).
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25 The research units also noted that the involvement of cer- systems, and on-site visits. Members of RIC are drawn from cities and counties, including county engineers, city directors tain types of participants is associated with successful tech- of public works, and city engineers. Representatives from nology transfer efforts. The participants with the highest Mn/DOT research and state aid offices are also RIC members. average rated involvement with the research units were their In addition, individuals submitting a problem that is funded by the RIC may be asked to serve on the technical panel over- own office personnel, and personnel from headquarters pro- seeing the conduct of the research. Special care is taken to gram and operations and regional and district offices, along involve potential local users to facilitate the implementation of with outside research organizations. A partnership among the research results whether they serve on the RIC, guide research, or are involved with outreach efforts. In every aspect, these types of participants is a common occurrence for tech- the LRRB seeks to select the appropriate local participants for nology transfer. its activities. The LRRB has been remarkably successful in transferring Well-chosen participants for technology transfer in many technology and implementing its research results. It uses a cases are found in county and municipal governments. The number of the success factors discussed in this chapter and, Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) Technology importantly, it uses well-chosen partners as a factor for its success. Application Note is an example of having the right partici- pants for the job of technology transfer. The respondents to the survey provided a look at the types of participants that are involved in successful technology Minnesota LRRB--Program Description transfer or implementation of research efforts (see Figures 5 The Minnesota LRRB was established in 1959 and has oper- and 6). The respondents were asked what types of partici- ated as a means to involve the state's county and city officials pants were involved in successful efforts. For state DOTs, the in research and technology implementation efforts. The LRRB has sponsored more than 150 projects on topics dealing with participants from the agency and a research organization materials and methods used in constructing and maintaining were the most highly involved. For LTAP/TTAP a variety of pavement, drainage systems and other utilities under the pave- participants were active, such as state DOT program and ment, management of the roadside environment, and bridge construction and maintenance. Local engineers submit ideas operations personnel, local experts, university researchers, to the LRRB that selects and approves proposals. Mn/DOT and state maintenance personnel, among others. These sur- provides administrative support, and researchers from the vey results show what type of participation (each with an DOT, universities, and consulting firms conduct the research. implied expertise) contributed to the success of the effort. The LRRB is funded by state moneys specifically legislated for its research and technology transfer and implementation activities. The LRRB budget has grown from approximately The survey results showed that there were four main $86,000 in 1960 to $2.3 million in 2004. participants in the state DOT process of technology transfer A key to the success of this program is the high level of or implementation of research results: the research office involvement of the local officials in setting the agenda for personnel--often contributing the research administration research and the strong participation of these officials in and technology transfer expertise, the program or operations implementing the results of the research. A notable function in the LRRB is its Research Implementation Committee (RIC). staff--often responsible for the change in specifications or RIC makes information available and transfers research results policy that the innovation must include before being deployed, into practical applications for local officials. RIC uses a variety the field office staff that will be governing where the inno- of methods to reach engineers and others with new develop- ments and innovations, such as videos, reports, pamphlets, vation will be put into practice, and the outside research orga- seminars, workshops, field demonstrations, CD-ROMs, web nization that performed the research. A majority of the state Research Office Personnel HQ Program/Operations Staff Region/Dist. Office Staff Type of Participant Outside Research Organization Field Maintenance Office Staff Federal Agency Experts 3 - high involvement Other State Peers 2 - moderate involvement 1 - low involvement Trade/Prof. Association Expert 0 - no involvement T2 Contractor n = 38 Local/Municipal Expert 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 Average Involvement Rating FIGURE 5 Average involvement of participants in successful technology transfer efforts--State DOT. (Multiple responses were permitted.) T2 = technology transfer.
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26 State DOT Program/Operations Office Local or Municipal Expert University Educators/Researchers State DOT Maintenance Field Office Organization Trade/Professional Association Expert Other Peer with Technology Experience T2 Contractor Federal Agency Experts 3 - high involvement 2 - moderate involvement State DOT Region/District Office 1 - low involvement 0 - no involvement State DOT Research Office University Administration n = 22 Outside Research Organization 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 Average Involvement Rating FIGURE 6 Average involvement of participants in successful technology transfer efforts--LTAP/TTAP. (Multiple responses were permitted.) T2 = technology transfer. research units conduct research through contracted research the technology transfer activities may not be as long term as services, and the ranking of the participation of outside re- those facilitated by the state DOT research units. The require- searchers confirms that practice. Others that were involved in ment for progress tracking is somewhat less critical when technology transfer activities with the state DOTs partici- sponsoring, for example, a one-time event. The implementa- pated at less involved levels owing to the nature of the spe- tion or technology transfer efforts of research units can extend cific project or, as with FHWA, their role would require less from the inception of the research to several years beyond involvement considering that it is an oversight function. completion of the research as efforts proceed to put the inno- vation into practice. As discussed in chapter five, the infor- The LTAP/TTAP centers however show the involvement mal survey on needs to the RAC showed that having a better of many types of participants, all at no more than moderate process for technology transfer or implementation tracking levels. The state DOT program or operations office and a and scheduling is desirable. local or municipal expert were most often involved in the technology transfer activities of the centers. Nearly all of the Partly owing to the long-term nature of the implementa- other participants for the technology transfer effort were cho- tion or technology transfer, and considering the variety of sen because of the unique skill that person could bring to the deployment locations across a state DOT, there often is a sep- technology transfer activity. Additionally, the LTAP/TTAP aration of the research and its implementation efforts. It is centers often had a wide variety of individuals involved in the common for research to be done in state DOTs without an technology transfer activity, each contributing in some impor- adequate ongoing supply of funds for implementation. Some tant aspect. The collaborative nature of the LTAP/TTAP cen- federal-aid State Planning & Research (SP&R) funds may be ters' activities showed a more diverse group of participants, used for implementation and technology transfer; however, perhaps reflecting more of an outreach function than the tech- they are generally not sufficient to complete all of the work. nology transfer activities of the state DOTs. Often funds are not committed until an innovation is ready to be deployed and, as with the LTAP/TTAP centers, the part- For both groups, state DOTs and LTAP/TTAP centers, ner organizations share the cost of the technology transfer. experts in technology transfer, contracted to perform services, Of the 38 state DOTs providing information in the synthesis had a relatively low involvement. survey, their best estimate was that on average they spend approximately 9.3% of their Research Part II, SP&R federal- Progress Monitoring and Committed Funding aid funds on technology transfer and implementation activi- ties. (This figure is a component part of the total expenditure Progress monitoring and committed funding have influence figure for technology transfer and implementation activities on success; however, both research units and LTAP/TTAP discussed later.) Dedicated funding has traditionally been a centers considered them less important than most other fac- primary booster for technology transfer activities (Bikson tors. Only slightly more than one-third of the centers and 1996). The past two federal transportation acts have increased approximately two-thirds of the research units believed that research funding, and many states have committed a portion progress monitoring was a factor for success. The lower rat- of these funds to implementation and technology transfer ing by the LTAP/TTAP centers may reflect the notion that (Harder 2000). However, more needs to be done, and state
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27 DOTs are finding other sources of funds to help accomplish funding is a catalyst for success; it contributes to stable, sus- technology transfer. tainable programs. The level of experience for LTAP/TTAP respondents does not suggest any correlation with the size of States are beginning to dedicate specific funds for imple- the program budget. mentation, and three states, Georgia, Minnesota, and Wyoming, reported having legislation that specifically funded technol- LTAP/TTAP centers reported that they receive funds ogy transfer or implementation activities. Although these from a variety of sources as well. All centers receive federal- states have dedicated funding for technology transfer, there aid LTAP program funds. In addition, the majority of the 22 was no indicator in this brief review of funding that this com- LTAP/TTAP centers responding to the survey reported that mitment affected the amount of the funds for technology they also receive funding from up to five other sources, includ- transfer and implementation of research results. Such legis- ing training fees, state funds, university funds, local funds, lated funding however does provide a stable funding source and private-sector funds. Often the funds, such as the SP&R for ensuring that innovations are put into practice. South research funds, require matches. The centers noted several Dakota, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Kansas have committed additional sources of funding including the Bureau of Indian the greatest percentages of their SP&R, Part II Research Affairs, tribal governments, and other federal agencies, such funds for implementation of research results or technology as the National Transportation Safety Administration. Table 2 transfer (20%, 25%, 33%, and 75%, respectively). The state shows the types of funding and the percent of respondents DOTs with respondents having 5 of fewer years of experi- that receive moneys from these various sources. ence in technology transfer was the group that committed a greater percentage of their SP&R research moneys to tech- nology transfer on the average than the other two groups. Focus Area for Technology Transfer Effort This group represented 34% of the respondents and 40% of the SP&R research moneys committed. The group with mid- Respondents to the surveys for this synthesis were asked dle level experience (6 to 14 years) committed on average the about the area of focus for a successful technology transfer least amount, and those with the greatest amount of experi- or implementation project. Three areas were included in suc- ence (15 years or more) committed about the average of all cessful efforts; the most frequently cited for research units respondents of their funds for technology transfer activities. being knowledge transfer and for LTAP/TTAP centers train- Even with this average commitment to funding, the state ing and education (see Table 3). There was no clear indica- DOT respondents having 15 or more years of experience tion that any of these focus areas were a major success deter- had larger total program budgets from all types of funding minant, but that there was a focus to the project that tended to be a factor that promoted success. The concept of having including SP&R research funds. [The group with the most a focus and a goal was beneficial for the projects. experience (15 or more years) in technology transfer was responsible for 62% of the total of all types of funding for Table 3 also shows that knowledge transfer is a primary research and research-related activities and represented 46% focus of technology transfer and implementation of research of all respondents.] results for both state DOTs and LTAP/TTAP centers. Both groups considered transferring knowledge a critical element Approximately one-third of the respondents to the state of their activities. Furthermore, LTAP/TTAP centers con- DOT survey reported that they receive funds other than sider training and education an even more important focus SP&R moneys from other department unit's federal-aid bud- area for their programs. gets, training course fees, other discretionary federal funds, state funds, and LTAP moneys. The state DOTs also reported that on average they spend approximately 6.5% of total Marketing and Communications agency funds committed to research and research-related activities on technology transfer and implementation activi- Successful technology transfer programs depend on effec- ties. (Note that without California's large commitment to tively segmenting user audiences, and tailoring strategies to those audiences and to different stages of the tech- technology transfer through agency and other funds, in addi- nology development process (Special Report 256: Man- tion to Research Part II, SP&R moneys, the average total for aging Technology Transfer: A Strategy for the Federal respondents would drop to 5.3%.) Highway Administration 1999, p. 23). Of the LTAP/TTAP respondents, six centers indicated Effective marketing and communications are key success their states had legislation that provided funding to their pro- factors of technology transfer. Every successful technology grams. Four of these centers have program budgets of more transfer activity in some manner involves the packaging or than $450,000 and have the largest LTAP/TTAP program marketing of the innovation to suit the intended audience or budgets of the respondents to this survey. Although other user. Additionally, effective communications techniques are LTAP/TTAP centers that did not respond to the survey may required to convey the knowledge and skills for users to pro- have large budgets, it is important to consider that legislated mote change in their respective settings. INDOT noted that
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28 TABLE 2 and the Joint Transportation Research Program. This work SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR LTAP/TTAP group identifies technologies for promotion and adoption within CENTERS INDOT. In the past 3 years, 13 technologies have been imple- mented through this work group including Spread Footings for Centers Receiving Bridge Abutments, Galvanized Steel Diaphragms for Concrete Source of Funding Such Funds (%) Beams, and Environmental Management of Winter Salt Runoff Federal-aid/SP&R 100 Problems. Marketing is an integral element for the technology Local 40.9 deployment. The group prepares a marketing plan for its tech- State 36.4 nologies that are to be implemented and deployed throughout Training and other fees 31.8 the state. These plans contain: University 22.7 Private sector 27.3 · Needs assessment Notes: Multiple responses were permitted. SP&R = · Project and technology description State Planning & Research. · Technology analysis Technology background, profile, and analysis Description of current practice in Indiana Market profile and segments TABLE 3 Technology support FOCUS OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER EFFORT Costbenefit evaluation Suggested funding sources Group · Short- and long-term goals and objectives for implemen- Research Unit LTAP/TTAP tation Focus of Tech Transfer (%) (%) · Recommended implementation strategies and require- Marketing 65.8 50 ments Knowledge transfer 92.1 81.8 · Action items Training and education 55.3 90.9 · Partners, personnel, task responsibilities · Success measures. Notes: Percent of total responses. Multiple responses were permitted. Once this marketing plan is done, the Technology Deployment Group uses it as the basis for its communications about the deployment or technology transfer efforts. A marketing plan "a good marketing plan and public relations [communica- was created for a project on Emergency Generators and Elec- tions] to every level in the agency and local entities" was tronic Control Systems for Interstate Drinking Water Plants, required for a brine tank technology transfer effort. When Wastewater Treatment Plants, and Lift Stations. An executive briefing based on information developed in the marketing plan the Kansas DOT required technology transfer of issues sur- was prepared for the department's executive and senior man- rounding the long-term probability of grain-dependent short- agement. On the strength of the briefing, the executive staff line railroads, the principal investigator of the research approved the project. Other promotion efforts distributed by the Technology Deployment Group are publications aimed publicized results of the project through a widely distributed at specific audiences, as well as business-card-size CDs news release. The DOT and the users gained a broader aware- (Pamplin and Arnold 2003; Pamplin 2004). ness of the project, which assisted in the implementation of the research results. Also, results were made available to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Kansas State Legislature and other interested parties to help Communications Toolkit provide support and funding for further work. Another exam- The WSDOT has created a Communications Toolkit--avail- ple is the research that the Ohio DOT is conducting to under- able on the WSDOT intranet and containing virtually everything stand how to market and communicate its research results. a WSDOT employee needs to know about communicating Although this project focused on communicating the benefits internally and externally. The toolkit contains information on: of research, the findings have also provided an opportunity · How to interact with the media, including press release for the research unit to apply these methods to the imple- guidance and examples, media kits, what to do when the mentation and technology transfer process. media calls, interview guides, and more; · Planning communications and strategies; · Presentation guidelines and techniques; The following four Technology Application Notes show · Writing strategies and sample letters; and the value of marketing and communications for three state · Images for incorporating into communications vehicles. DOTs, Indiana, Washington State, and Ohio, and the 3M The Communications Toolkit provides a consistent and pro- Company. Marketing and proper packaging of information fessional approach to communicating within the DOT as well streamlines the approval processes, professional communi- as with customers and stakeholders. The research unit in cation tools assist in program effectiveness, and knowing WSDOT is a beneficiary of this department-generated tool. the users and customers of the program is an important fac- This example shows that those performing technology trans- fer and implementation of research results have options to find tor for facilitating technology transfer and implementation excellent tools necessary for their activities without having to of research results. possess the expertise or create the tool. This is especially important when dealing with a discipline not commonly found in a research unit. Marketing and Technology Deployment Work Group The Technology Deployment Work Group is a partnership Ohio DOT (ODOT) Communication Strategies for State among FHWA, Indiana Division; INDOT; Purdue University; Transportation Programs