|Lead Organization:||Federal Highway Administration|
|Est. Completion Date:|
|Last Updated:||May 01, 2013|
|Contract End Date:|
|Total Commitments Received:||$250,000.00|
|100% SP&R Approval:||Approved|
|Organization||Year||Commitments||Technical Contact Name||Funding Contact Name||Contact Number||Email Address|
|California Department of Transportation||2010||$50,000.00||Nick Burmas||Sang Le||(916)firstname.lastname@example.org|
|California Department of Transportation||2011||$50,000.00||Nick Burmas||Sang Le||(916)email@example.com|
|California Department of Transportation||2012||$150,000.00||Nick Burmas||Sang Le||(916)firstname.lastname@example.org|
Caltrans and the FHWA have implemented two prior projects that were focused on technology transfer activities. These tasks have provided benefit to both Caltrans and the nation. An example of this relates to the foundation testing methodologies that are used by Caltrans. The Branch Chief for Caltrans Foundation Testing participated in a regional geotechnical meeting to share how California uses gamma-gamma testing to assure quality construction of drilled shafts. This technology is a valuable tool that has not been fully deployed at a national level. There were two benefits from this project. The first was that other states have an increased awareness of the technology and are starting to see its benefit in the construction process. The second notable benefit was what occurred in a side conversation with an engineer from Montana. What was learned here enabled Caltrans to save tens of thousands of dollars on a construction project. Other tasks have included technical outreach through workshops and publications. While not all small tasks have a direct measure or cost benefit, Caltrans has benefited from having a technology transfer pooled fund project that enables small tasks to be implemented in a timely and efficient manner.
NCHRP Synthesis 355 defines technology transfer as "activities leading to the adoption of a new-to-the-user product or procedure by any user or group of users" (NCHRP 355 (2005), pg 7). The report goes on to say that technology transfer is now recognized as important to achieving agency goals. Which has also led to the practice of not just having a researcher push the technology on users, but to have users seek out new technologies to help them solve problems and improve existing processes (NCHRP 355 (2005), pg. 11). FHWA has a rich history of promoting technology transfer in the transportation industry; with specific focus on state departments of transportation. This is evident in the several programs and processes that have been developed; which include the transportation pooled fund program, the local technical assistance programs, and their internal technology transfer program. This focus on technology transfer performance measures have been incorporated into the Joint Stewardship and Oversight Agreement between FHWA and Caltrans. This project will strengthen the technology transfer effort in California. The focus of this project is to provide a mechanism to rapidly fund small tasks that will promote or aide in the implementation of developed technologies that will enhance the transportation industry. Each of these tasks will be qualitatively analyzed in order to capture the benefits realized from this project.
This study proposes to include the types of activities identified in the NCHRP Synthesis Report 355 which states, "Activities leading to the adoption of innovations can be knowledge transfer, training and education, demonstrations and showcases, communications and marketing efforts, technical assistance, and more (Wallace et al. 1998, pp. 2¿3; Schmidt et al. 1984, p. 1). In addition, technology transfer in this transportation context also includes the complex process of change, a comprehensive achievement dealing with cultural as well as technical issues (NCHRP (2005), pg 7)." Once the project is approved, a technical advisory panel will be convened to establish a project work plan and operating procedures. The procedures will identify operating processes and practices for how tasks are incorporated into the project as well as guidelines that will determine eligibility of tasks. The focus of the work plan and procedures will be to assure that tasks are focused on technology transfer activities. In determining eligibility reference will be made to FHWA guidelines for their internal technology transfer program, the FHWA guidelines for the use of Federal-aid research program funds for travel and training, and national publications such as NCHRP Synthesis 355. In order to efficiently track and manage project tasks, a database with internet access will be used to track project tasks and follow-up report information. This system will enable all project partners to access information about the types of projects being completed, the discipline areas, and the stage of deployment. This information will then be used to improve future technology transfer activities in California. Qualitative analysis will be used to evaluate benefit of the technology transfer projects.
Benefits: Caltrans and the FHWA will be able to deploy new ideas and technologies that will lead to improved transportation program delivery. Another benefit is that tasks included in this project can have relatively short turn-around times and provide flexibility in helping supply the user information when they need it in a usable form and at a reasonable cost. (NCHRP Synthesis 355 (2005) pg 29). Caltrans will in turn be able to market research products and share new knowledge with other public agencies that could benefit from these technologies. The overall result will be improved technology deployment in California. Participants: Caltrans, University of California Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies Technology Transfer Program, and the California Division FHWA Deliverables: The technology transfer database will enable information about a project task, its technology transfer benefits, and actual deployment information. The database will also use the Caltrans Division of Research and Innovation¿s states of deployment and technical advisory breakdowns areas to track additional information about ongoing activities. This information will be compiled in a final project report that will also include recommendations to improve future technology transfer program delivery improvements. Time Schedule: The study period will be from March 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012. Funding Requirements: Caltrans agrees to provide $50,000 during the first year of the study. The FHWA will contribute $1,000 at the initiation of this project. Further funding of this project will be based on the tasks included in the project roadmap.
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