Technology transfer at the MATS UTC will be integrated into every project. Implementation of research findings are emphasized by the MATS UTC Advisory Panel. The Center will build on our existing partnerships with states, and the accompanying emphasis on implementation. For example, MU has an implementation staff member that can help guide MATS Center project implementations. MATS UTC can also plan to work with State DOT Implementation personnel such as Jimmy White at the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research.
The cornerstone of the center’s technology transfer plan is for each project to generate a research deployment plan early in the project. Each investigator has a responsibility to contribute to the project’s research deployment plan which will describe how results from the project will be disseminated to enable implementation. The project investigators will work with the Center’s Managing Director on this plan and present it to the MATS Advisory Panel in the Panel’s first meeting after project start. The research deployment plans will identify a number of specific technology transfer activities from the following list:
- Presentations at conferences aimed at practitioners
- Presentations of projects to the MATS Advisory Panel when project is 75% complete
- Presentations by the project champion(s) to explain how the research will be used
- Webinars, workshops, and demonstrations
- Manuals, guidebooks and other technical reports
- Peer reviewed journals or academic publications
- One-page project briefs
- Commercial applications
- Influence policy and national dialog
MATS researchers and staff are already familiar with most of these technology transfer techniques. Interacting with other researchers at regional and national conferences is a major aim for both students and researchers associated with the Center. Peer-reviewed journals, academic publications, and technical reports will be used to disseminate research project results.
Example MATS UTC Technology Transfer Experience
Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC)
- ODU’s SBTRC assists small companies in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia, helping businesses in their quest to grow, thrive and build capacity in order to win contracts and increase our overall economy. The SBTRC operates under the United States Department of Transportation, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) and is responsible for ensuring that small businesses are treated fairly and have the opportunity to compete and be selected for federally funded transportation projects.
- MU’s strong partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in which MU is a sole-source contractor for the USACE, Huntington District, has enabled MU to serve as project manager and technical reviewer for multiple cost, rate and freight analysis projects.
- In 2012, RTI commenced a formal partnership with the Center for Business Economic Research (CBER) at Marshall University. CBER’s mission is to conduct business and economic research pertinent to state regional economies and disseminate information, research findings, and data to the region’s public and private sectors and allows for shared resources and expertise in the areas in economics, statistical modeling, alternative energy, taxation and fiscal policy analysis.
Use of Technology to Disseminate Research Results
The MATS UTC website serves as a tool to promote awareness of center activities, as well as access to MATS UTC products. Beyond the core website, the MATS UTC plans to use the results of NCHRP Project 20-93’s Technology Transfer Handbook (to be released this year) and potential lessons that apply to the dissemination of project information related to the center.
With the advent of social media, new outlets for the dissemination of research are possible. For example, the UVA Transportation Training Academy has been distributing training videos on YouTube for almost a year.
They have had over 6641 views of “Wheel Loader Operating Techniques.” More
recently, TTA uploaded several geotechnical instructional videos developed as a Mid-Atlantic UTC technical transfer project to the TTA YouTube website. The MATS UTC expects to utilize YouTube and other social media sites to disseminate the results of additional projects as appropriate.