Since 2008, the Office of Research, Development and Technology has led the effort to develop and implement international research collaboration platforms for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). As of June 2017, there are four European-based platforms leveraging knowledge through complementary research, pooling of international funds to address global transport challenges, and conducting demonstrations in the United States and Europe.
Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL)
The first platform with the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL) is a formal association with the Belgian-based group of highway research laboratories. FEHRL is comprised of over 30 Eurocentric laboratories, as well as additional facilities in Israel, South Africa, and Australia. FHWA and FEHRL established an international financial mechanism to address transatlantic transportation challenges. In 2013, FEHRL and FHWA conducted a scan of infrastructure research facilities in the United States to develop an agenda of research needs that was the basis for the Infravation program.
The second platform, Infravation (Infrastructure + Innovation), is a multinational pooled-fund program where participants from 11 countries, including FHWA and the European Commission (EC), came together and created a unique opportunity for international research teams to submit joint proposals. There were 103 proposals submitted and only 9 projects funded; 7 have U.S. team members and 2 of the these are led by U.S. entities. Beginning in May 2017, there will be demonstrations in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona. The review and feedback on this platform indicate that it has been highly successful.
International Transportation Pooled Fund Program
The fourth platform is the Transportation Pooled Fund Program (TPF), an online, on-demand platform that has been administered by FHWA for more than 20 years. This platform for highway research collaboration allows any country with a treaty in good standing with the United States to participate, and is now inviting international partners to address common research, development and deployment needs.