The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive program provides resources to help STICs foster a culture for innovation and make innovations standard practice in their States. Through the program, funding up to $100,000 per State per Federal fiscal year is made available to support or offset the costs of standardizing innovative practices in a State transportation agency (STA) or other public sector STIC stakeholder. The program is administered by FHWA’s Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI).
America's highway system faces significant challenges: aging infrastructure, growing traffic volumes and limited staffing and funding resources. Widespread use of innovation and enhanced business processes is essential to meeting customer needs and increasing the efficiency of project delivery. Initiatives such as Every Day Counts (EDC), the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Implementation Assistance Program, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Innovation Initiative, and others are designed to promote innovations and support the transportation community by putting them into practice. Whether through training, workshops, demonstrations, technical assistance or incentive funding, the result of these initiatives is rapid technology transfer and accelerated deployment of innovation across the nation.
Key components to the success of innovation deployment programs such as EDC are the State-based approach and the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) concept. A STIC or other equivalent task force, committee or group is intended to bring together public and private transportation stakeholders to evaluate innovations and spearhead their deployment in each State. Each State operates its innovation deployment council, task force, committee or group based on its unique business needs and approaches to meeting those needs. The STIC or an equivalent group puts the transportation community in each State in the driver’s seat to comprehensively and strategically consider sources of innovation, select those innovations that best fit its unique program needs, and then quickly put those innovations into practice. A formalized council or group affirms a State’s commitment to institutionalize innovations, ensuring innovation deployment will continue as a business practice for years to come – establishing a culture of innovation.
With EDC, SHRP2, and other innovation deployment programs as the driving force nationally, the need for every State to have an innovation deployment council or similar group is essential to ensure that the innovation deployment remains a State-based initiative. States with a strong culture of innovation are able to leverage the resources of the transportation community within the State and get the appropriate innovations into practice quickly. The establishment of a well-organized STIC or equivalent group, defined processes and procedures, and engaged leadership serve as the foundation for fostering a culture of innovation within a State.
FHWA's STIC Incentive Program will help States foster a culture for innovation and achieve goals to institutionalize innovations.