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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, program invites proposals for a third round of research, education, and technology transfer projects. The NITC program supports innovations in: livability, incorporating safety and environmental sustainability.  This grant is part of the University Transportation Center program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, and is a partnership between Portland State University and the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology and the University of Utah.

The NITC program will award at least $750,000 in this funding round to research, education and technology transfer projects that support NITC’s theme. Projects should range from $30,000 to $150,000. Projects can focus on research, education, or technology transfer. All projects submitted for this request for proposals (RFP) will undergo peer review. All awards require one-to-one non-federal match in the form of cash or in-kind services from project partners—to include universities, transportation and other public agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations. Please refer to Section 3 of the linked document below for specific details. Projects awarded under this RFP may start as soon as August 1, 2014 and must be completed by December 31, 2015, including the final report.

Successful research proposals will fit the NITC theme, linking to articulated USDOT priorities:...

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The USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) 7thAnnual UTC Spotlight Conference on Sustainable Energy and Transportation: Strategies, Research, and Data was held on November 8-9 in Washington, DC and featured OTREC energy related research from Portland State University and Oregon State University. This year’s conference focused on promoting dialogue and coordination among University Transportation Centers (UTCs), federal agencies, industry, and state and local agencies on research to address the complex and challenging issues concerning sustainable energy and transportation. The plenary and breakout sessions focused on research to improve energy efficiency, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and identify of effective strategies to promote USDOT's strategic goals. As the U.S. moves toward a performance-based transportation bill, energy-focused environmental sustainability is expected to become one of the pillars against which success is measured if it is to become a national priority.

Dr. B. Starr McMullen, Oregon State University, took part on a plenary panel discussion on the interconnection of energy use, pricing and finance and highlighted two OTREC funded projects The Relationship Between VMT and Economic Activity and...

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If you weren’t one of the 10,000 people who attended the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting in January, there are fifty students and twenty faculty for PSU, UO, OSU and OIT who can tell you what they learned there.  OTREC's bright yellow lanyards made our presence especially visible! PSU student Brian Davis blogged about his experience, OTREC’s Jon Makler was interviewed in a local newspaper, and the Oregon “delegation” at the conference was covered by both local and national blogs. Team OTREC filed some daily debriefs, highlighting presentations on topics such as federal stimulus investments in Los Angeles and Vermont’s efforts to address their transportation workforce crisis with returning military veterans (as well as the...

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In January 2010, the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration issued a request for public comment regarding their Strategic Research Direction, Research Priority Areas and Performance Metrics To Guide Departmental Strategic Plan for Research, Development and Technology Activities (2010ó2015). OTREC and our partners crafted a three part response that identified barriers and ways to research innovation, including:

  • Broadening federal match for University Transportation Centers (UTCs);
  • Embracing the cross-modal perspective on transportation;
  • Better tracking of how research is implemented; and
  • Increasing the role of national university transportation centers.
  • Making better linkages between research groups.

In regards to the key priorities, areas that could key areas could be emphasized and perhaps not fully captured in the key priorities as currently stated included:

  • Resiliency in the face of climate change & natural disasters;
  • Considering equity issues across all priorities; and
  • Recognizing active transportation as a mode.

To view the full OTREC memo, go to: http://otrec.us/RefDocuments/RDT_OTREC_Final.pdf

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Robert Bertini, OTREC Director, has been appointed to the post of Deputy Administrator for the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). He has left an indelible mark in Oregon from creating the Intelligent Transportation Systems Lab to launching the transportation seminar series at Portland State University. The ITS Lab currently supports 30 students and over $4.5 million of transportation research. Over 200 seminars have been offered to date. Most recently and significantly, he was paramount in establishing the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC). With his leadership and vision, the Consortium currently has funded over 100 research, education and technology transfer projects and supporting the work of over 80 faculty.
Rob was promoted to Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Urban Studies and Planning in 2008, and has been an incredible mentor to other faculty and students during his time at PSU. He is well respected internationally for his notable work on ITS, traffic flow theory, and transportation systems (to name a few). His tireless work, vision, leadership, and ability to inspire collaboration will surely be missed! See the story in the...

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The USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) released their March 2009 UTC Spotlight, featuring OTREC Livability related research, mostly focused on projects at the University of Oregon led by Marc Schlossberg, Nico Larco and Yizhao Yang. New Secretary of Transportation LaHood has specifically mentioned livability as one of his priorities so this is a very timely publication. OTREC looks forward to continuing to address critical transportation needs in sync with national priorities.

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OTREC staff Carol Wallace, Hau Hagedorn and Robert Bertini participated in the RITA UTC Annual Meeting and the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Summer Meeting hosted by the Mineta Institute at San Jose State University in San Jose, California, June 26-28, 2008. Bertini moderated a session on workforce challenges that included examples of what UTCs are doing to address the challenge through training and education. Staff met with RITA University Programs Specialist Robin Kline (left) and RITA Administrator Paul Brubaker (right).

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On May 1, 2008, USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Administrator Paul Brubaker and Thomas Marchessault, UTC Outreach Liaison for RITA, spent the day visiting OTREC. Mr. Brubaker and Mr. Marchessault were given an overview of OTRECís web proposal and project management system, and participated in faculty project ìspotlightî demonstrations, and a special poster session with students. In the afternoon, Matthew Garrett, Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, and Administrator Brubaker gave remarks on the future of transportation technology to an audience that included the OTREC Board of Advisors, Executive Committee, faculty, students and community transportation leaders at an OTREC reception. PSU graduate student Lisa Diercksen introduced the guests and spoke about her experience as a research assistant and OTREC Scholar. Administrator Brubaker spoke about the need for an interdisciplinary approach to transportation problems of the future, as evident in the multidisciplinary nature of OTREC programs that bring together faculty and students from civil engineering, urban studies and planning, public policy, architecture, business, computer science, environmental science, etc.

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OTREC welcomed Robin Kline, Amy Stearns and Lydia Mercado from the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) on November 5. They met with OTREC staff, university leadership and the OTREC Executive Committee. A poster session and reception was held in the afternoon, where RITA staff heard from faculty principal investigators and students who are working on OTREC projects. Members of the OTREC Board of Advisors also met the RITA representatives. RITA oversees the University Transportation Center program, through which OTREC receives federal funding.

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Much anticiapted news of OTREC Strategic Plan approval was received December 1, 2006. The Plan was approved by OTREC’s federal sponsor, USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). The Strategic Plan was written by Director Robert Bertini, with input from the Executive Committee, faculty and other stakeholders. It outlines OTREC’s theme, structure, programatic goals, budget plan and baseline performance measures. Approval of the plan means that OTREC programs may now officially get underway!