The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) 1st Quarter 2021 Meeting, held on March 29, 2021, focused on the advancement of the EDC-6 Innovative Initiatives during the two-year program time frame (January 2021-December 2023). The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.
Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.
FHWA EDC-6 Innovation Baseline. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that feedback from the STIC Caucus was helpful in establishing the baseline reports for the EDC-6 initiatives, and provided a brief update on the current and planned stage of deployment for each of NJDOT’s EDC-6 innovation initiatives over the two-year time frame.
Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided status updates, covering the EDC initiatives overseen by the Safety, Mobility and Operations, and Infrastructure Preservation CIA team. Amanda Gendek noted that the Organizational Improvement and Support CIA was formed recently to include the Strategic Workforce Development and Virtual Public Involvement initiatives. This CIA will be reporting out at the next STIC meeting.
STIC Incentive Grant Funding. Amanda Gendek reported on the status of the development of the NJ STIC Communications Plan which is a guide to encourage the exchange of ideas and promote innovation among STIC members and the broader transportation community. The Plan is nearing completion and will be available soon. Sal Cowan, Senior Director for Transportation Mobility at NJDOT, described the partnership with Waycare for the Enhanced Crowdsourcing for Operations in NJ pilot to improve traffic incident detection and roadway system monitoring.
EDC-6 Innovations Break-Out Sessions. The quarterly meeting offered an opportunity for STIC members to further consider how the EDC-6 initiatives can be advanced at the state and local level, and what coordinated efforts will be needed. Meeting participants were divided into break-out sessions to briefly discuss the current status of implementation for the EDC-6 initiatives and explore steps to be taken to advance these initiatives toward the anticipated implementation status at the end of the two years. Participants discussed their capacity to create a working group to continue discussion on these initiatives, how FHWA and NJDOT can work with local public agencies and other transportation partners to advance the initiatives, and whether participants are aware of innovations that could be shared at a future STIC meeting.
Plenary Session. All participants reconvened and break-out group facilitators reported out on the discussions for each initiative.
Reminders and Updates. Before closing the meeting, Amanda Gendek reminded meeting participants that information on NJ STIC is available on the NJDOT Tech Transfer website. She let participants know that the 2021 Build A Better Mousetrap Competition is underway. The BABM competition encourages state and local agencies to share successful examples of ideas that were translated into implementable solutions in transportation. She also encouraged participants to subscribe to the NJDOT Tech Transfer News which is released quarterly to stay informed on other research and innovation topics.