U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
advanced research The study of phenomena relating to high-risk, high-payoff research and innovations to solve critical challenges.
applied research The study of phenomena relating to a specific known need in connection with the functional characteristics of a system; the primary purpose of this kind of research is to answer a question or solve a problem.
basic research The study of phenomena whose specific application has not been identified; the primary purpose of this kind of research is to increase knowledge.
collaboration Working together on a shared problem or project in which all parties have a sense of ownership and are jointly involved in creating the solutions or outcomes; synonymous with partnership.
cooperation Acting together or in compliance or to associate with others for mutual benefit. Unlike collaboration, cooperation does not require shared ownership of the project or joint responsibility for creating outcomes.
coordination Working together harmoniously, typically to bring about a goal or effect.
deployment A five-phase process to gain acceptance and use by stakeholders of a process, product, or regulation. The five phases outlined by the FHWA's Research Development and Technology Program are 1) planning and research, 2) promotion, 3) delivery and reassessment of goal, 4) achievement of goal, communication of accomplishments, and removal from Market-Ready Technology list, and 5) measurement of results and benefits of technology.
development At FHWA, the translation of basic or applied research results into prototype materials, devices, techniques, or procedures for the practical solution of a specific transportation problem.
implementation To put into practical effect. To ensure actual fulfillment. This is similar to deployment and sometimes used synonymously. Deployment is a step toward implementation or full adoption of a product or service.
innovation A new concept, technique, policy, procedure, product, or process that is ready to use and will improve the transportation system by making it safer, building it faster, or helping it perform more effectively.
innovation life cycle The approach illustrating that research and technology development and deployment are not insular activities, but integrated processes that together constitute a system.
knowledge management A process for optimizing the effective application of intellectual capital or communal expertise to achieve organizational objectives. It involves systematically and actively managing (e.g., identifying, storing, organizing, updating, and accessing) and leveraging internal and external information.
knowledge management system An integrated system or framework for managing the processes that create, store, and distribute knowledge or communal expertise throughout an organization.
market-ready technology and innovation A ready-touse technology or innovation that will improve the transportation system by making it safer, building it faster, or improving how it performs.
outsourcing The delegation of specific operations from internal production to an external entity. Using an entity outside the organization to perform specific tasks that the organization once performed itself.
partnership See collaboration.
policy research Applied research that involves determining the impact of policies on targets. Useful for those responsible for policy interventions. (This can include research designed to develop effective policy or research to determine the impacts of an existing policy.)
program performance Used to define whether the targets, goals, and objectives for a particular functional area or discipline are being met. For example, for an agency spending money on transportation safety, an assessment of how well the safety program is performing in reducing transportation-related fatalities.
research A systematic, controlled inquiry involving analytical and experimental activities that primarily seeks to increase the understanding of underlying phenomena.
research program performance measurement The ongoing monitoring and reporting of tangible accomplishments of a research program's established goals and objectives. Ideally, performance measures should address the results of the products and services delivered by the program (outcomes). However, performance indicators such as the type or level of program activities conducted (process) and the direct products and services delivered by the program (outputs) may also be used.
resource leveraging A process by which assets of others can be used to move a product or service further along.
strategic research Careful, systematic study to establish facts in a specific field, or research and technological development priorities for the medium to long term. Designed to accomplish a specific measurable outcome on completion. Strategic research often involves input from and coordination with multiple stakeholders.
technology transfer Activities that lead to the adoption of a new technique or product by users. Involves dissemination, demonstration, training, and other activities that lead to eventual deployment.
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