What is Innovation?
Innovation provides opportunities to move the State of Practice forward by integrating new technologies and practices into the way the Office of Federal Lands Highway (FLH) conducts its work. Traditionally, innovation is seen as the logical next step of technology transfer following research efforts. We also recognize that innovation can result from our regular work through deployment of ingenious solutions used to solve real-time problems.
Innovation becomes stale unless communicated and shared. Innovation at FLH is about sharing what has worked and not worked so the next person is successful and the next project is delivered more effectively and efficiently.
Effective technology transfer is a strategic process that starts with leadership support and customer engagement to identify emerging and cross-over innovations for greater, wide-spread deployment and adoption.
At FLH, the Innovation Discipline promotes staff to deploy innovative solutions across the Office. Several staff members in the Innovation Discipline participate on the innovation Heightened Utility and Deployment committee (iHUD) to support strategic innovation deployment across Federal agencies.
Innovation in Practice
One goal of the I&R program is to share innovations that are being developed more widely to identify and deploy innovative technologies into practice. FLH has Technical Disciplines by subject matter that also generate and promote innovative solutions and technical resources. See the FLH Technical Resources page for more about available resources and the different Technical Disciplines.
Some of the innovative projects being deployed by FLH and FLMA staff are highlighted through Innovation Project Profiles. These projects support the following strategic themes:
- Vulnerabilities and Resiliency
- Environmental Stewardship
- Customer Experience and Mobility
The I&R program is working to develop a more robust catalog of information about innovation in practice. If you have an innovative technology or process that you would like to share with FLH and FLMA partners, contact the I&R Program Manager, Karyn Vandervoort.
The FLH Innovation and Research Program uses the Technology Readiness Level for Highway Research (TRL-H) to identify the different stages from Planning activities to Research activities to eventually Practice in the field. It is an industry standard developed by NASA to reference technology evolution. From TRL-1 to TRL-9, the maturity level of technology can be identified on the continuum of its life.
The FLH Innovation Program promotes technology that has advanced beyond research, from its demonstration in an operational environment (TRL-7) to an institutionalization stage (TRL-9).