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7 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION PURPOSE AND SCOPE innovation. A technology can be considered deployed when it is used multiple times within an organizational Technology transfer is a means to directly affect the rate and or group context, such as use resulting from a newly nature of innovation and improvements to the transportation written specification. system. Whether there is a new device to apply or a more Education and training--processes encompassing a vari- effective manner of performing a task, technology transfer ety of instructional methods to cause learning. For the is an essential part of that innovation. Because of the inte- most part, when using the terms education or training, gral role technology transfer plays in all areas of transporta- this document implies formal or organized instruc- tion, a synthesis of current practice is important for trans- tional opportunities for learning. portation practitioners and managers alike. This synthesis Implementation of research results--used in highway presents an overview of the technology transfer practices transportation and particularly by the research com- currently used within the highway transportation commu- munity to describe the various activities required to nity. It is intended to assist in speeding innovation to prac- put an outcome of a research project into widespread tice, thus increasing safety, enhancing performance, and use. This term is often used synonymously with tech- reducing costs. The synthesis documents successful prac- nology transfer by those in research. The activities tices, discusses challenges encountered, and identifies needs can span the entire duration of the research project to promote improvements for technology transfer activities and extend until the research result is adopted, for and processes. example, as part of a standard operating procedure. Implementation activities may be pilots or demon- The scope of the synthesis includes technology transfer strations, training, technical assistance, provision of practices within state departments of transportation (DOTs) needed resources, or any activity that fosters use of and other programs or organizations such as the Local and the research result. Tribal Technical Assistance Programs' (LTAP/TTAP) Tech- Innovation--procedure, product, or method that is new to nology Transfer Centers and the Resource Center and divi- the adopting organization. The item may be a result of sion offices of FHWA. Technology transfer within the acad- research or may be a new application of an existing emic and private sectors is addressed to a lesser degree, and improvement that has been used in another context or although there is substantial activity, most is focused on other organization. commercialization, an area not emphasized by state DOTs. Knowledge transfer--diverse activities causing the flow of knowledge from one person, group, or organization to another. Such knowledge transfer can be a system- DEFINITIONS atic process to identify, capture, and share tacit knowl- edge to enable it to become explicit knowledge. A number of terms familiar to the transportation commu- Technology--term used very broadly to include practices, nity are used in this document. Although many definitions products, processes, techniques, and tools. for these terms may be acceptable, the following are used Technology transfer--activities leading to the adoption herein. of a new-to-the-user product or procedure by any user or group of users. New-to-the-user means any Adoption or application to practice--making a technol- improvement over existing technologies or processes ogy or innovation an organization's standard operating and not only a recent invention or research result. procedure or causing the technology or innovation to Technology transfer includes research results imple- be used as the generally accepted means for accom- mentation and product or process deployment. Activ- plishing a specific task. Such action is an outcome of ities leading to the adoption of innovations can be implementation of research results or technology knowledge transfer, training and education, demon- transfer activities. strations and showcases, communications and mar- Deployment--systematic process of distributing an inno- keting efforts, technical assistance, and more (Wal- vation for use. This term implies a relatively broad use, lace et al. 1998, pp. 23; Schmidt et al. 1984, p. 1). rather than pilot, demonstration, or incidental use of the In addition, technology transfer in this transportation