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Research Collaboration Opportunities

The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) collaborates with partners to meet a broad spectrum of needs that encourage the transfer of technology and the use of TFHRC’s research developments and technologies by the private sector. A key principle of the process is that both the Federal Highway Administration and its partners benefit from the relationship. The TFHRC provides fair access to its technical expertise and its designated facilities.

NOTE: The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. In any collaboration for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) evaluation of proprietary products or the use of TFHRC laboratory facilities by other institutions, it is not FHWA’s intent to evaluate a proprietary product by itself, but rather to evaluate the underlying technology that makes the proprietary product unique.

Informal collaborations. Researchers at TFHRC frequently collaborate informally with researchers at other organizations. These collaborations often result in joint peer-reviewed papers, short-term visits or tours of TFHRC laboratories, and shared research methods. Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center researchers may provide limited technical assistance of short-term duration involving a written response, a telephone call, onsite discussions, visits to a non-FHWA site, or a combination of these situations. These nonreimbursable services should not impede the accomplishment of TFHRC objectives and may benefit and support FHWA’s mission. These services are part of regular staff duties and subject to management approval.

More extensive collaborations include:

  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). A CRADA is a formal partnering agreement that allows Federal laboratories to work with U.S. companies, academia, and other organizations on joint research and development projects. The CRADA provides flexibility in structuring project contributions and intellectual property rights, and in protecting research results developed during the collaboration.
  • Visiting Researchers. Visiting researchers at TFHRC are technically qualified individuals from universities, companies, or other organizations who work onsite with TFHRC staff on projects of mutual interest for periods ranging from a few months to several years. Visiting researchers are generally brought in under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreement.