The new RD&T Plan continues to meet the strategic priorities and objections articulated in the U.S. DOT Strategic Plan, according to the department.
“We recognize that the work of research, development, and technology deployment takes collaborative effort across the public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors,” said Dr. Robert C. Hampshire, chief science officer at DOT. “In this time of rapid change and experimentation, research must drive the learning necessary for the public sector to keep pace with technological advancement and to adapt to evolving socio-economic needs. By providing a vision for a future transportation system made possible by research, we seek to foster collaborative innovation to create a better transportation future for all.”
The RD&T Strategic Plan provides a long-term vision for how research and technology deployment can help transform the nation’s transportation system while guiding transportation research, development, and technology deployment activities over the next five years.
The plan will also guide the more than $5 billion in research activities funded through the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
The BIL created new programs to support the deployment of transformative technologies, including:
- Providing $500 million in funding to the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Program.
- Investing in University Transportation Centers (UTCs) that work on climate, equity, and innovation—including at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions.
- Establishing an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Infrastructure (ARPA-I) to scale up research and development efforts.
- Authorizing $50 million per year in funding to establish a new Open Research Initiative.