Cover Image

Not for Sale

View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 84

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 83
84 APPENDIX H Technology Transfer Toolbox Scoping Study Executive Summary Federal Highway Administration, Office of Professional Development and Office of Research, Development and Technology and Transportation Research Board, Technology Transfer Committee The Need Annually hundreds of millions of dollars are invested by state, federal, and university researchers to produce innovations and improvements to the transportation system. However, the benefits of these investments are dependent upon the ability to deploy and implement the results of research--the innovations, technologies, new methods, and procedures. Coupled with this respon- sibility to put into practice what has been learned, there is a substantial need for effective and continuous sharing of best prac- tices and new information among the transportation community. These factors point to a more basic need; that of creating and enhancing mechanisms to enable technology transfer, which is the term used for all the activities leading to the adoption of a new-to-the-user product or procedure as an accepted operating practice. This scoping study describes a Technology Transfer Toolbox--basic principles and concepts developed into tools to assist those engaged in implementation of innovations or technology transfer. These tools will be designed for use by researchers, research administration staff, and program, operations, and field staff, from the public or private sectors or academia. Ulti- mately the objective of the study is to make transportation innovations more readily available and usable through the use of effective tools and to inform sponsors of the value of developing these tools to more quickly realize the benefits of technol- ogy transfer activities. The Users The largest group of potential users of the Toolbox is unfamiliar with technology transfer or implementation of research results and does not regularly perform these duties. They are expected to know what to do when they are faced with shepherding the promotion or adoption of an innovation in a specific technical discipline. These people can be field and operation staff, researchers, or others involved with the process of research. It will be this group that benefits the most by having the tools to assist them as they accomplish the necessary technology transfer tasks. Another group in the transportation community, which could be served by the Toolbox, is made up of those who are knowledgeable about or involved in effective technology trans- fer or implementation of research results. While the Toolbox could assist this group, it will be designed primarily for the inexperienced user. Users will be drawn from a variety of organizations and responsibilities within transportation. Individual users will come from (1) local government and state departments of transportation: the research unit office technical and administrative staff and those that oversee the application of innovations into the operating environment, including field or district/region person- nel; (2) FHWA division offices and others in its regional centers and research and program areas; (3) technology transfer pro- fessionals, including National Local Technical Assistance Program and Tribal Technical Assistance Program Centers; (4) uni- versities including researchers and in particular students who will have the opportunity to prepare for their careers by learning to use these essential tools; and (5) private sector researchers and organizations or associations dealing with promoting the use of new technologies and innovations for transportation. Two Phases of Development There are two phases of development of the Toolbox. Both phases lead to creating a primary technology transfer resource for the transportation research and technology community. The first phase of development will create an interactive CD- based system with accompanying hardcopy that can be used on a personal computer or installed on an intranet (if available) within the user's organization. The second phase of the system would advance this CD-based system to an interactive web- based system accessible through commonly available Internet browsers. The two-stage approach came about because those

OCR for page 83
85 providing input to this study realized that there are many in the transportation community that still do not have full access to the Internet. The preferences determined for the Toolbox are based on input from federal and state department of transportation per- sonnel and university researchers including technology transfer professionals. The Toolbox will be interactive, providing prompts and suggestions for information input and will include some internal-to-the-system intelligent decision making. Pro- fessionally formatted reports will be produced from the tools as needed. The Tools Just like a home contractor's toolbox that contains specialized tools for specific tasks, the Technology Transfer Toolbox will contain a set of tools each designed to perform a given task associated with technology transfer or implementation. There will be four primary tools in the Toolbox, which include a Marketing (Promotion) Plan Tool, Implementation Plan Tool, Executive Briefing Development Tool, and a Scheduling and Tracking for Technology Transfer and Implementation Activ- ities Tool. Each of the tools also will include an internal assessment module that allows the user to examine the effective- ness of the performance generated by its activities. Examples of the Marketing (Promotion) Plan Tool and Implementation Plan Tool are given to demonstrate the interactive nature of the Toolbox and provide a vision of the capabilities such a sys- tem could provide. What Next Now is the time to develop the Toolbox. There is a large base of support within the transportation community for more effec- tive implementation of innovative practices to advance the transportation system. The state departments of transportation can particularly benefit from the Toolbox and because of this, a recommended vehicle for developing the Toolbox is the State Plan- ning and Research supported Pooled Fund Program. The Toolbox will require resources to realize the contribution it could generate. Initial estimates of cost for producing the CD version of the Toolbox with four primary tools--Marketing Plan, Imple- mentation Plan, Executive Briefing, and Scheduling and Tracking will be $850,000. This amount will include the technical and administrative costs including supporting the policy, technical oversight committees, and project management directing the development of all four tools. The figures also include developing both phases of the tools, the CD version and then the web-based system and include a development effort of 24 months. Funding for this effort may come from a number of sources. The state departments of transportation contribute to the pooled fund activities as well as other organizations such as FHWA, AASHTO, and university transportation centers. This expense is an investment in the transportation system. Consider that without an implementation plan or a marketing strategy, labor, equipment, materials, and other physical costs could and do rapidly multiply. Additionally, without the for- ward looking tools to prevent delays, unseen liability, or technical barriers, costs for any one project that had difficulty with implementing the innovation could reach the amount that for example one state department of transportation would contribute to development of the Toolbox, or that one organization may put forward as its support. Furthermore, innovations may not be implemented or the technology may not be transferred because there was no plan or tool to facilitate it. The consequences of not having the benefits of such innovations present an even stronger reason to move forward with this Toolbox. The immediate next steps to bring the concept to reality are: Establish cornerstone sponsorship--key sponsors to launch and expand the Toolbox sponsorship Determine project governance and implementation participants Advisory board--strategic oversight and sponsorship Technical Advisory Panels--advise and shape the development of the tools Project management--manage the development and consultant teams Select vehicle/structure for project performance Secure project development funding Develop request for proposal and proceed with consultant selection The Technology Transfer Toolbox presents a set of tools that will multiply the benefits of the current efforts to enhance the transportation system. These tools need to be in the hands of practitioners to produce efficiencies and create more value for the existing and future transportation assets.