A robust technology transfer (T2) program helps get cutting-edge research into the hands of practitioners who just need to know what to do and how to do it — without the methodology behind the findings.
In order to improve and transform the transportation system, those making decisions about exactly what improvements are necessary must receive clear and concise information to use it efficiently. A technical research report, while a vital component of any research project, is usually not the ideal channel for informing practitioners. For example, while methodology is vitally important to future research efforts on a topic, technical findings often need translation into shorter, more active and visually appealing instructions. And these days, agencies responsible for improving our transportation system must also share their efforts with policy makers and the public through a variety of electronic media. Any T2 program must excel at both translation and distribution if it’s to be successful.
The Texas A&M Transportation (TTI) Communications Program works with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Research and Technology Implementation Office to produce user-friendly T2 products that promote the department’s federally sponsored research program findings. Creative teams of engineering experts and TTI communications professionals work together to develop a wide range of educational products, including project summaries, the research program’s quarterly newsletter, executive summaries, professional industry technical articles, guidebooks, online training modules, workshop materials, project web pages, and project video summary reports hosted and maintained on TxDOT’s YouTube channel.
“Our communications services can help a researcher repackage their findings in a user-friendly way that the practitioner in the field can readily understand and put into practice,” says Kelly West, who manages the implementation and research support projects for TTI Communications. “Sometimes a talented artist can turn two solid pages of text into one infographic that communicates the message at a glance.”