NTL > TLR Archive > Index Page

RITA’s Research, Development & Technology Knowledge Management System

Alasdair Cain, Transportation Specialist, RITA Research, Development, & Technology Office
March 10, 2011


Slide 2: RITA’s Research Coordination Activities

RITA Research Coordination Efforts are comprised of:

  • Senior – level consultations through Planning Council & Planning Team
  • Working – level consultations through the Research Clusters
  • Project – level visibility into RD&T spending through the Knowledge Management System
  • Sharing of research outcomes and outputs through Technology Transfer


Slide 3: The RD&T Knowledge Management System (KMS)

What is the KMS?

  • A publicly available, web-based, searchable database of DOT-funded RD&T project records
  • A central information repository populated by existing DOT agency data sources
  • Field structure:
    • Project title
    • Program
    • Short description/abstract
    • Project sponsor and performer POC details
    • Project status (active, completed, etc)
    • Funding amount
    • Project findings and outcomes (reports/patents/rulemaking /new technologies, etc.)

Why do we need it?

  • Assist RITA in its research coordination, facilitation, and strategic planning efforts
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing and leverage opportunities for cross-modal collaboration across DOT
  • Provide DOT staff with a tool to quickly answer requests from external stakeholders for information on RD&T programs and projects
  • Foster research coordination and collaboration across federal and state government, academia, and industry
  • Enhance RD&T funding transparency in support of the Administration's Open Government initiative
  • Congressionally mandated

Slide 4: KMS Approach

  • Summer 2010 - Build KMS beta:
    • Volpe Center contracted to build KMS beta
    • Content provided by DOT operating administrations, supplemented by data from other sources like TRB
    • Currently contains over 3,000 active RD&T projects and projects completed after 9/30/2008 , (new content still being added)
    • Accessible to all DOT HQ staff at:
  • Fall 2010 - Review Process:
    • Internal review by DOT staff (Oct/Nov)
    • External review by expert panel (Nov)
    • Develop KMS Evaluation Report (Nov/Dec)
  • 2011 – Establish “mature” KMS:
    • Review KMS Evaluation Report and reach consensus on next steps
    • Migrate KMS to DOT HQ
    • Establish long-term database maintenance and sustainment approach
    • Coordinate with TRB’s existing databases

KMS beta

  • Mined from existing data sources
  • Incomplete listing of projects
  • Variable quality (missing fields, etc)
  • Manual data entry in most cases
  • One time snapshot, no data refresh

Review Process

Mature KMS

  • Comprehensive list of RD&T projects
  • High level of data quality
  • Publicly accessible
  • Sustainment plan to maintain up-to-date database with automated data refresh processes

Slide 5: Coordination with TRB’s Databases

Export of KMS Project Database records to TRIS and RiP

KMS RD&T Project Database

  • a) Target DOT funded projects not currently included in TRIS and RiP, using information from existing DOT agency data sources
  • b) Document "Technology Transfer" aspects of completed projects
  • c) Establish a Mature KMS at RITA

TRB's TRIS and RiP Databases

  • d) Help TRB improve its coverage of DOT-funded projects in TRIS/RiP:
    • Continue existing efforts to populate TRIS and RiP with DOT-funded projects
    • Help implement the RD&T Strategic Plan agreement to populate TRIS/RiP
    • Provide “DOT-Funded RD&T” search capability in TRIS and RiP

Export of TRIS/RiP Database records to KMS Project Database

Slide 6: Image

Slide 7: Image

Slide 8: Image

Slide 9: Image

Slide 10: Image

Slide 11: Image

Slide 12: Questions / Comments?

For more information:


(202) 366-0934