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Book Review: Lora Koetsier, Research Specialist, ODOT Office of Research & Implementation
NCHRP 768: Guide to Accelerating New Technology Adoption through Directed Technology Transfer, published by the Transportation Research Board in 2014 “presents a framework and guidance on how to use technology transfer to guide and accelerate innovation within a state department of transportation (DOT) or other such agency. The guidance will be helpful for agency personnel with any level of experience in adoption of new technology. The guide includes illustrative examples of innovations in organization and policy as well as design, materials, and operations”.
The goal of this volume is to enhance the technology transfer (designated as T2 in the document) of projects developed with taxpayer support. The document provides a historical perspective as well as guidance for the future. Readers are alerted that intellectual property can include improved or new: knowledge, products, processes, or services.
The US Department of Transportation defines Technology Transfer (T2) as the availability of research results to potential users in a form that can be directly implemented, utilized or otherwise applied ( http://www.rita.dot.gov/utc/about/utc_vision.html ). Further, NCHRP 768 clarifies Technology Transfer (T2) explaining it “refers to a way that ideas, knowledge, practices, products, processes, or techniques are shared between and within organizations. As a purposeful action, T2 involves at least two parties, a source and a recipient, engaged in the sharing of knowledge about new practices, products, processes, or other elements of technology. The T2 process may be initiated by the source, the recipient, mutually by both, or by a third party acting to facilitate the sharing.”
Page 24 presents advice concerning intellectual property. Transportation agencies typically fund external work by grants or contracts to other government agencies (e.g., pooled fund studies), public and private academic institutions, or to the private sector. This support often does not address intellectual property ownership or ownership is given to the awardee. This report is a wakeup call for transportation agencies to address the ownership of intellectual property, expanding technology transfer to meet agency goals and to benefit taxpayers.
Pages 25-26 and the appendices provide information that assists an agency build a successful technology transfer program. The pages are divided into three major sections:
Appendix A has a Guided T2 Checklist (see sidebar) which may be reduced to an important ordered ten step list leading to T2 success as well as suggested readings. The first step “Address societal and legal issues” identifies innovative rights as the pivot point for the Technology Transfer Program. Innovative rights are often referred to as “intellectual property.” Intellectual property includes improved knowledge, products, processes, or serviuces.
The goal of the Technology Transfer Program is to accelerate implementation. For a list of Tech Transfer Tools from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), go to: https://sites.google.com/site/trbt2committee/t2-documents
Mark M. Hood and Stephen R. Thompson, Pennoni Associates, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Robert J. Vance and Michael S. Renz, Vance & Renz, LLC, State College, Pennsylvania
Barbara T. Harder, B.T. Harder, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Joseph Toole, Alexandria, Virginia
Samuel T. Hunter, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
Most Publications of the National Academies Press (NAP) since 2011 (and many earlier publications) are available at no charge from MyNAP
( https://www.nap.edu/content/using-mynap ) including the item reviewed in this article. A short registration process is required and the articles are delivered online as an Acrobat .pdf copy with a NAP coversheet.