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NETC organizes to address new opportunities
- By Jordan Posner
On June 26th and 27th, the New England Transportation Consortium (NETC) Advisory Committee met for an NETC Retreat in Concord, NH to discuss process improvements for the six-state cooperative research program founded in 1988. The purpose of the retreat was to revisit what the NETC is, and where the Advisory Committee sees it going in the future. The Advisory Committee includes each of the research managers at the Departments of Transportation in RI, MA, CT, NH, VT, and ME, as well as a representative from each of the Land Grant Universities in the six states.
The UVM TRC hosts the New England Transportation Consortium (NETC) providing support to advance research initiatives that provide financial leveraging opportunities, stronger partnerships between university faculty and state DOTs, and research dissemination across New England. NETC coordinator Amanda Hanaway-Corrente organized the end of year strategic planning retreat to facilitate discussion on research needs, foci and to establish a new vision for NETC work in the coming years.
The entire first day of the retreat was dedicated to discussing the goals of the NETC, and establishing mission and vision statements for the research program. On the second day, a handful of issues were addressed, including the specific roles of the NETC Coordinator, Policy Committee, Advisory Committee, and Technical Committees. The discussion also included how to improve Request for Proposal solicitations, best practices for performing literature searches, invoicing procedures with respect to verifiable project deliverables, technology transfer and implementation.
The last NETC Retreat, held in 2004, addressed an environment and transportation world very different from the opportunities and challenges of today, especially in the direction of needed research. A lot of time at the latest retreat was spent discussing how to use advancements in technology to improve the quality of the research, and speed up the process from research ideas to implementation. At the conclusion of the retreat, it was decided that process improvements should be discussed as often as is feasible to continue to keep pace with technological change and the ability of DOTs and other stakeholder to integrate them. Moving forward, the NETC Retreat will be held on an annual basis.