LOCAL GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: A SERVICE USER'S VIEW

Technical information gathered as a product of research is most valuable when it is usable in day-to-day applications. Useful application of technical information can be achieved early if recognized conduits of information are established and the relationship of researcher and implementor are recognized. The Federal Highway Administration, state departments of transportation, and National Association of County Engineers have traditionally been the agencies that provide information to transportation agencies, and they should be encouraged to expand on the existing information-distribution system. Technical information can be more valuable to a greater user audience if the following points are recognized and implemented. First, established and recognized systems for the distribution of transportation-related information are essential. State departments of transportation should be encouraged to maintain highly visible secondary road departments to actively carry on technical-information dissemination and technical support to lower governmental units. Second, elected officials should recognize that their transportation officials need to participate in technical conferences and seminars, both as contributors and recipients in the learning process. Elected officials and governmental managers should encourage employee participation in peer group activities for the purposes of information exchange. Third, research projects should be developed that use potential product users as participants and advisers. The Federal Highway Administration and state departments of transportation should expand the use of research data digests and technical briefs to alert and advise cities, counties, and townships of available research information. Fourth, document failures; not all research results in success. Visibility of unsuccessful efforts may suggest different courses of actions for future research. Fifth, technical data can and should be digested to provide a base for public information use. Too often, the transportation engineer fails to recognize the public's need and right to know about what precipitated a final decision. Last, update existing technical data periodically. Rapidly changing transportation events require revisions in guides and standards to ensure that current and future needs are met. Additional methods for alerting potential users about technical information should be developed along with methods to stimulate user application. These systems can be an extension of assignments within the agencies cited in this report. (Author)

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: pp 19-22
  • Monograph Title: Technology transfer, the research process, and creating a productive environment
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00315340
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309029937
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1980 12:00AM