The core of RITA's mission is to coordinate research across the USDOT to maximize and leverage the taxpayers' $1.2B annual investment in transportation research, development and technology (RD&T) activities and to ensure that decisions are made based on sound science and rigorous analysis.
FY 2012 RD&T
|Program Activity||FY 2010 Actual||FY 2012 Request||Change FY 2010-2012|
|Education and Outreach||50||50||0|
|Knowledge System Enhancement & Maintenance||200||200||0|
|Technology Transfer Program Support||50||50||0|
Strategic Goal: Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability.
Purpose/Beneficiaries: Provides strategic direction and fosters coordination and collaboration of the USDOT research programs. RD&T Coordination enhances the USDOT's ability to foster technology transfer, ensure implementation of RESEARCH results and inform RD&T stakeholders of USDOT research activities.
Beneficiaries: USDOT cross-modal and mode-specific research programs, researchers both with within and outside of the USDOT and ultimately users and managers of the transportation system.
Partners: USDOT modal administrations, including members of the RD&T Planning Team (Associate Administrators for RD&T) develop the DOT RD&T Strategic Plan with input from a broad array of external stakeholders and partners. The RD&T Strategic Plan will be implemented and continuously updated and refined over the next five years and beyond.
Description: Databases containing cross-modal and mode-specific research program and project details are the bases of the overall KMS database and U.S. DOT research clusters supported by the www.transportationresearch.gov collaborative website used to facilitate collaboration and coordination. USDOT modal administrations are the sources of information used by RITA to inform other USDOT, university, state, and foundation researchers of our effortsfostering coordination and collaboration.
Prior Year Accomplishments:
RD&T coordination activities enable RITA to better recognize and use the synergies in the USDOT's RD&T programs and to identify opportunities for collaborative research efforts. Through the RD&T Planning Council and RD&T Planning Team the USDOT RD&T Strategic Plan is continually updated with external stakeholder input. The budget guidance, budget reviews and program reviews result in better coordinated transportation research, adoption of best practices in research program management and peer review, and minimize duplication.
RD&T coordination includes the creation of USDOT research clusters made up of research program managers and researchers that meet regularly and interact via the transportationresearch.gov collaborative website. This encourages research program managers and researchers to interact, share planned and in-progress research plans, post implementable research results, conduct online collaboration, debate research questions, and report on research outcomes. These mechanisms will inform others on progress, topics being explored and products that can be leveraged. RD&T coordination also includes sponsorship of seminars and lectures by transportation researchers, particularly on multi-modal topics.
RD&T coordination also includes the KMS database that supports research coordination, facilitation, review, and strategic planning. The KMS database also fosters research coordination and collaboration across the USDOT and with stakeholders, and promotes excellence in research management, transparency and dissemination of readily implementable research results.
Beneficiaries include the USDOT, transportation research program managers and researchers, external stakeholders, transportation system managers and users, OMB, Congress.
Most transportation research is funded on a mode-by-mode basis. The RD&T Coordination program provides a mechanism for mode-specific research to be coordinated through the RD&T Planning Team and Planning Council. The advancements in information flow and awareness would stop. Duplication of effort, and a slowing in the adoption of best practices in research program management would likely occur. Leveraging and advancement of cross-modal USDOT Research Clusters would halt, and the USDOT KMS would not be available for coordinating research across transportation modes.
The program staff is dedicated to looking across the USDOT modal administrations to identify areas of potential synergy, and prevent overlap, and inefficiencies resulting from duplication of effort. Funding for a technology transfer program provides structured dissemination of information on research products across the USDOT and with stakeholders, reducing the potential for leveraging of funds and results and adoption of technologies across the transportation industry.
Effective: Evidence received through the RD&T Planning Council and the RD&T Planning Team and during site visits by Planning Team members to modal administration research facilities demonstrate that effectiveness of the program has increased as a result of initiatives such as the multimodal coordination and development of the USDOT RD&T Strategic Plan and initiation of USDOT Research Clusters and transportationresearch.gov collaborative web site.
Research: RITA's RD&T coordination program is developing effective qualitative and quantitative metrics for these activities. Metrics in development are:
Efficient: Approaches developed and being pursued, to include the USDOT RD&T Strategic Plan, the RESEARCH Clusters, the collaborative transportationresearch.gov and the Knowledge Management System have all been endorsed and/or identified by the USDOT RD&T Planning Team comprising the modal Associate Administrators, and have been developed with their input for optimum utility and applicability.
Funding Options:The current funding level will allow the program to proceed as planned. This year's activities include:
Funding Options: FY 2012 requested funding of $.900M will support Knowledge Management System (KMS) database development and maintenance, education and outreach and support of researcher connectivity through meetings, webinars, and information dissemination.
History/Outyear Needs: FY 2010 $.536M; FY 2012 $.900M.