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Suggested Citation:"10.0 Future Research Opportunities." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Research on Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation for Departments of Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25308.
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26 10.0 – FUTURE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES There is substantial interest in innovation culture across the transportation community as evidenced by the more than 300 professionals who responded to the survey. The research team recommends the following topics for additional research based on feedback from the survey and the guide validation study. ► How DOTs manage risk when pursuing innovation. Both the survey respondents and focus group participants indicated that the challenges associated with risk in the public sector differ greatly from the private sector. They asked for more research on how public agencies can manage risk as they seek to become more innovative. ► Additional case study interviews to gather more examples of lessons learned from DOTS and other government agencies. In the focus groups and through survey responses, participants consistently expressed a high level of interest in receiving more examples of innovation strategies from the public sector. This includes examples of how DOTs put into practice the five building blocks of innovation culture (leadership, empowerment, communication, recognition and measurement), as well as the challenges and failures they overcame to do so. ► Funding opportunities for innovative efforts. Focus group participants indicated a strong interest in learning about what grants or funding opportunities are available for DOTs to help them implement innovative activities beyond the AASHTO and FHWA programs specifically designed to support innovation efforts. Participants indicated they would also be interested in learning more about how states or organizations could establish a fund for innovative efforts. While similar funds are available at the city level, focus group participants were interested in a statewide fund that would be accessible to DOTs. ► A before-and-after case study of a DOT that has established an innovation culture. Focus group participants indicated that it would be very beneficial to study a DOT as it begins to implement the strategies laid out in the Guide and track its progress. This would be a great opportunity to get an insider’s view of the challenges that DOTs must overcome to establish or sustain innovation culture. It would also be helpful to establish a timeline of how long it takes for efforts to take root and for the agency to begin experiencing innovation successes.

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 248: Research on Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation for Departments of Transportation documents the research process and provides key guidance to implement the research produced in

NCHRP Research Report 885

: Guide to Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation for Departments of Transportation. This guide provides insight on encouraging and sustaining a culture of innovation within the organization, its partners, and other stakeholders. A culture of innovation supports agency managers and staff efforts to encourage and accept innovation as a means to enhance the agency’s success. This guide is designed to assist agencies in assessing their culture with respect to innovation, identifying ways to make the organization more adaptable and open to beneficial change, and sustaining the organization’s adaptability to respond effectively to evolving technology, workforce, and public priorities.

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