Technology Transfer


The purpose of this page is to describe the Department's current and planned Technology Transfer (T2) activities and illustrate how they fulfill the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act mandates on the use and dissemination of research findings (49 U.S.C. 6502).


The goal of technology transfer is to maximize the impact of federally-funded research and development (R&D) by accelerating the transfer of new, innovative technologies from federal agencies to the commercial marketplace. Technology deployment is the process by which emerging technologies are moved from the lab to an adoption-ready state.

Figure 1 Integrating T2 and R&D

Figure 1 illustrates the two parallel sets of activities essential to developing and deploying a new technology. The first is the R&D process, in which research activities are defined and experimentation is conducted. The second is the T2 process. During this process potential adopters and other stakeholders must be engaged so that (1) industry needs are clearly articulated and addressed within the R&D process, and (2) end users understand and are able to fully optimize these new technologies. Technology deployment is the final phase of the T2 process.

The U.S. DOT Technology Transfer Program

The DOT T2 Program, housed within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), is responsible for coordinating, documenting, and supporting T2 activities across the Department. DOT's T2 activities focus on research collaboration, knowledge transfer, information dissemination and the practical application of research. Specific coordination and collaborative efforts include:

  • Coordinating U.S. DOT's annual contribution to the Department of Commerce's report on Federal Laboratory T2 Fiscal Year Summary Report to the President and the Congress in accordance with 15 USC 3710(g)(2), and summarizing the implementation of technology transfer authorities established by the Technology Transfer Commercialization Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-404) and other legislation.
  • Coordinating the Department's response to Executive Orders and other T2 Administration mandates, such as Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth Businesses, October 2011.
  • Developing training materials to help R&D personnel incorporate various technology transfer best practices into their research programs.
  • Collaborating with the Department's Senior Intellectual Property (IP) Counsel in developing an IP policy that will streamline procedures for the submission and review of potential invention disclosures, and improve total effectiveness and reductions in cost.
  • Preparing simplified model agreements for use or adoption by the Operating Administrations and the Department's Federal laboratories to reduce resources and time spent on negotiation.
  • Implementing a new process for evaluating the Department's R&D outputs and providing resources to support high-priority outputs in their progress towards adoption in the transportation system.

The T2 Program also represents the Department's T2 interests in working with other outside organizations, including the Department of Commerce, Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer, Transportation Research Board, the White House, and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Technology Transfer Activities Performed by the Department's Operating Administration

The Department's T2 mission and goals are accomplished through the collaborative efforts of technology transfer and deployment experts within each Operating Administration (OA) and by leveraging expertise and resources outside the Department. Each OA has tailored its T2 approach and activities to its specific technology deployment needs. These activities are outlined in detail within the "Technology Deployment" section of the Department's new Research, Development and Technology Strategic Plan (FY 2017 - 2021), pages 85 to 97, which can be accessed here.

Supplemental Sources of Information on Research Outputs, Outcomes and Impacts

  • Project records in the database section of the USDOT Research Hub include links to final project reports and datasets (forthcoming), summary details of tangible outputs obtained from the Department's research projects, and details of any documented outcomes and impacts of this research on the transportation system. Click here for more information.
  • DOT's Technology Transfer Annual Performance Reports include summaries of research outputs, along with evidence of their use in the field. A link to these reports is provided here.

Future Plans for Technology Transfer

The T2 Program is working with the OAs to develop T2 plans for individual projects that will enable them to identify and perform specific activities during the conduct of research that would facilitate the transfer of results from the agency to the marketplace. It is also developing useful tools for DOT stakeholders to increase the probability of getting the research results used within and outside the Department.

For more information, please contact:

Santiago Navarro
Technology Transfer Program Manager
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of the Secretary
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, Mail Code: E33-463
Phone: 202.366.0849 |