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FHWA offers grants to spur innovation

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking applications and will award multiple grants in support of its Highways for LIFE Technology Partnerships Program. FHWA anticipates opening the solicitation for the program on or about March 1, 2007, with a closing date on or about April 15, 2007. The program anticipates as many as 12 awards at the $200,000 funding level and three awards at the $500,000 funding level.

The purpose of the Technology Partnership Program is to pull in partner organizations and companies to work with the highway construction industry to accelerate adoption of promising innovations. The program seeks to adapt proven, non-highway-related innovations or to refine existing highway equipment, materials, practices, or processes that have not become adopted as common practice. The program is intended to fund innovations that have been developed to the prototype stage and require further development, testing, evaluation, and application in a real-world setting before they would be available for implementation.

Applicable innovation areas include technologies, materials, tools, equipment, procedures, specifications, methodologies, processes, or practices used in financing, design, or construction of highways or bridges. FHWA says the innovation must make a significant contribution to achieving at least one of the following Highways for LIFE goals: improving project or work zone safety (including worker or user safety), reducing construction congestion, accelerating construction, or improving quality.

The competition is open to all non-profit and for-profit organizations except state and local governments and institutions of higher education. State and local agencies, local municipalities, and academic institutions are excluded from competition as prime awardees but can participate as a partner at the sub level.

To submit a grant application, go to www.grants.gov. More information about the Highways for LIFE program is available online at www.fhwa.dot.gov/hfl.