Purpose of Report

Purpose of Report

The Department of Transportation (DOT) Research, Development and Technology (RD&T) program fosters innovations leading to effective, integrated, and intermodal transportation solutions. Through RD&T, the Department anticipates and responds to changes in the complex transportation environment and stimulates innovations on behalf of the American public.

As stated in Section 5201 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), RD&T is a basic Federal responsibility when:

  • It is of national significance.
  • There is a clear public benefit and private sector investment is less than optimal.
  • It supports a stewardship role in assuring the efficient use of Federal resources.
  • It presents the best means to support national policy goals.

The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission recently reinforced the critical role of Federal transportation RD&T leadership, setting "Research, Development, & Technology: A Coherent Transportation Research Program for the Nation" as one of ten program areas in which Federal surface transportation investment should be concentrated. The Commission stated:

Research plays an essential role in the development of technology and science. It has made possible much of the progress in transportation over the last century through the development of new materials, production methods, design and planning tools, and data management techniques. The Federal role in transportation research, development, and technology (RD&T) is particularly vital because . . . The Federal government is best suited to monitor the vast scope of research activities underway across the Nation and the world, targeting funds to research gaps.1

The Department's RD&T Annual Funding Report describes actual and proposed funding for RD&T as required by SAFETEA-LU Section 5208(a). The programs included in this report meet the criteria listed above and support both DOT strategic goals and the RD&T strategies identified in the Department's Transportation RD&T Strategic Plan 2006-2010.2

This Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 edition of the RD&T Annual Funding Report consists of the following sections:

Section 2. A Department-wide overview of RD&T funding for the period FY 2007 through FY 2009.

Section 3. The RD&T funding in DOT's research-performing operating administrations.

Section 4. The Department's strategy for ensuring the effectiveness and performance of its RD&T programs.

Appendix A. Detailed 3-year funding tables for operating administration RD&T programs.

Appendix B. Operating administration support for DOT goals.

Appendix C. The RD&T strategies identified in DOT's Transportation RD&T Strategic Plan 2006-2010.

Appendix D. The acronyms used in the report.

1 Transportation for Tomorrow, National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, December 2007, p.31.

2 http://www.rita.dot.gov/publications/transportation_rd_t_strategic_plan/