[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 170 (Thursday, September 1, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60403-60407]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-21063]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

[Docket No. FHWA-2013-0048]


Notice of Funding Opportunity for Accelerated Innovation 
Deployment Demonstration

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces a funding opportunity and requests grant 
applications from eligible entities as FHWA continues the Accelerated 
Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration authorized within the 
Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP) under the Fixing 
America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The AID Demonstration 
provides incentive funding for activities eligible for assistance in 
any phase of a highway transportation project between project planning 
and project delivery including: Planning, financing, operation, 
structures, materials, pavements, environment, and construction that 
address the TIDP goals. The FHWA expects approximately $10 million to 
be made available for AID Demonstration in each of Fiscal Years (FY) 
2016 through 2020 from amounts authorized under section 6002 of the 
FAST Act.

DATES: The FHWA will use an open, rolling solicitation. The project 
must be authorized within 6 months of applying for AID Demonstration 
funding. Completed applications will be evaluated and award 
determinations made on a rolling basis until the program ends or 
funding is no longer available. Applications must be submitted through 
http://www.grants.gov. The Grants.gov ``Apply'' function will open on 
September 1, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Only applicants who comply with all submission requirements 
described in this notice and submit applications through www.grants.gov 
will be eligible for award.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about the AID 
Demonstration program discussed herein, contact Mr. Thomas Harman, 
Director, Center for Accelerating Innovation, Federal Highway 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 
366-6377. For legal questions, contact Ms. Seetha Srinivasan, Office of 
the Chief Counsel, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-4099. Office hours are from 
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of 
hearing at (202) 366-3993.
    Additionally, the notice, answers to questions, requests for 
clarification, and information about Webinars for further guidance will 
be posted at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/grants. Applicants 
are encouraged to contact FHWA directly to receive information about 
AID Demonstration.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice solicits applications for AID 
Demonstration. Each section of this notice contains information and 
instructions relevant to the application process for AID Demonstration 
grants. The applicant should read this notice in its entirety to submit 
eligible applications.

Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the 
Federal Register Web site at http://www.archives.gov and the Government 
Printing Office's database at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.

Table of Contents

A. Program Description
B. Federal Award Information
C. Eligibility Information
D. Application and Submission Information
E. Application Review Information
F. Federal Award Administration Information
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

A. Program Description

    On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the FAST Act 
(Pub. L. 114-94), which continues the TIDP under 23 U.S.C. 503 to 
implement accelerated innovation deployment. The TIDP relates to all 
aspects of highway transportation including planning, financing, 
operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, and 
construction.
    Section 503(c)(1) specifies the following TIDP goals: (A) 
Significantly accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies by the 
surface transportation community; (B) provide leadership and incentives 
to demonstrate and promote state-of-the-art technologies, elevated 
performance standards, and new business practices in highway 
construction processes that result in improved safety, faster 
construction, reduced congestion from construction, and improved 
quality and user satisfaction; (C) construct longer-lasting highways 
through the use of innovative technologies and practices that lead to 
faster construction of efficient and safe highways and bridges; (D) 
improve highway efficiency, safety, mobility, reliability, service 
life, environmental protection, and sustainability; and (E) develop and 
deploy new tools, techniques, and practices to accelerate the adoption 
of innovation in all aspects of highway transportation. The AID 
Demonstration is one aspect of the multifaceted TIDP approach and 
provides funding as an incentive for eligible entities to accelerate 
the implementation and adoption of proven innovation in highway 
transportation.

B. Federal Award Information

    Section 6002 of the FAST Act authorized $67,000,000 for TIDP for FY 
2016 and $67,500,000 for FY 2017 through 2020. The Funds are subject to 
the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation and the obligation 
limitation associated with these funds is available for 4 fiscal years. 
The amount of TIDP budget authority available in a given year may be 
less than the amount authorized for that fiscal year. The TIDP funds 
are available at an 80 percent Federal share, which require a minimum 
mandatory 20 percent cost share. The Federal share of a project or 
activity carried out with funds authorized under section 6002 of the 
FAST Act shall be 80 percent unless expressly specified otherwise by 
the Act or otherwise determined by the Secretary. [FAST Act Sec.  
6002(c)(1)]
    The FHWA expects approximately $10 million to be made available for 
AID Demonstration in each FY 2016 through 2020 from amounts authorized 
under section 6002 of the FAST Act. The planned award type is a grant 
that is allocated to a State department of transportation (State DOT) 
through project authorization, or for Federal Land Management Agencies 
and tribes through existing agreements with FHWA Federal Lands Highways 
Division. The FHWA has funding award goals of up to $9 million 
available to State DOTs per FY and up to $1 million available to 
Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal governments per

[[Page 60404]]

FY. These funding goals will be reviewed annually and may be adjusted 
to reflect current priorities and needs.
    The amount of each award may be up to the full cost of the 
innovation, but only to a maximum of $1 million. Awards are limited per 
FY of up to two per State DOT applicant, with up to one award for a 
State DOT and up to one award for a subrecipient applying through the 
State DOT, and limited to one award per applicant for Federal Land 
Management Agencies and tribal governments, subject to the number of 
eligible applications and the availability of funds.
    Award recipients shall submit a final report to FHWA within 6 
months of project completion based on the plan described in Section F 
(Federal Award Administration Information), which documents the 
process, benefits, and lessons learned including development and/or 
refinement of guidance, specifications or other tools and methods to 
support rapid adoption of the innovation(s) as standard practice, as 
well as level of commitment by recipient to deploy the innovation as 
standard practice.

C. Eligibility Information

Entities Eligible To Apply for Funding

    The AID Demonstration provides incentive funding for eligible 
entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption by the applicant 
of proven innovation in highway transportation. Section 502(b)(3) of 
title 23, U.S.C., authorizes the Secretary to award grants to a wide 
range of entities. The FHWA will provide AID Demonstration grants to 
eligible State DOTs, Federal Land Management Agencies, and tribal 
governments. These entities are the most likely to fulfill the 
deployment goals of the AID Demonstration program, since they are 
actively engaged in the deployment of new technologies. Consistent with 
other FHWA funding provided to tribes, any federally recognized tribe 
identified on the list of ``Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to 
Receive Services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs'' (published at 77 
FR 47868) is eligible to apply for AID Demonstration. Metropolitan 
planning organizations and local governments may apply through the 
State DOT as a subrecipient.

Eligible Uses of Funds

    The AID Demonstration funds are available for any project 
activities eligible for assistance under title 23, U.S.C. Eligible 
activities may involve any phase of a highway transportation project 
between project planning and project delivery, including planning, 
financing, operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, 
and construction that address the TIDP goals mentioned in Section A 
(Program Description). Projects eligible for funding must pilot and 
demonstrate for the applicant proven innovative practices or 
technologies, which the applicant or subrecipient intends to implement 
and adopt as a significant improvement from the applicant's or the 
subrecipient's conventional practice.

D. Application and Submission Information

    Applications must be submitted through http://www.grants.gov. The 
FHWA will award TIDP AID Demonstration funds to projects based on 
eligibility outlined in Section C (Eligibility Information) and the 
selection criteria outlined in Section E (Application Review 
Information).
    The FHWA will use an open, rolling solicitation, until the program 
ends or funding is no longer available. Project readiness will be 
treated as primary selection criteria in FHWA's evaluation process. The 
project must be authorized within 6 months of applying for AID 
Demonstration funding. An eligible project must be a pilot deployment 
for the applicant of a proven innovation previously deployed by others 
and align with the previously described TIDP goals. The innovation must 
be proven in real-world highway transportation application with 
documented benefits (in a form that is publicly available or 
verifiable), not routinely used by the applicant or the subrecipient, 
and represent a significant improvement from the applicant's or the 
subrecipient's conventional practice. The FHWA encourages the use of 
innovations included in the Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative. Please 
go to the following link to see examples and benefits of EDC 
innovations: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts/.
    Initially, to ensure a wide variety of innovations and project 
types, FHWA will limit awards to three projects per innovation. The 
FHWA intends to give priority funding consideration to projects using 
innovations that have not previously received TIDP funding.
    In the application, the applicant or the subrecipient must indicate 
willingness to: (1) Participate in monitoring and assessment activities 
regarding the effectiveness of the innovation(s) and subsequent 
technology transfer and information dissemination activities associated 
with the project; (2) accept FHWA oversight of the project; and (3) 
conduct a before and after customer satisfaction determination.

Application Process (I. thru IV.)

I. Contents of Applications
    The applicant shall include all of the information requested below 
in their applications. The FHWA may request applicants to supplement 
the data in the application, but encourages applicants to submit the 
most relevant and complete information they can provide. The applicant 
should, to the extent practicable, provide data and evidence of project 
merits in a form that is publicly available or verifiable.
    A complete application will consist of: (1) the Standard Form 424 
(SF 424) available from Grants.gov, and (2) the narrative attachment to 
the SF 424 as described below.
II. Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance
    Applicants should refer to http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/forms/sample/SF424_2_1-V2.1pdf. for instructions on completing the SF 424, 
which is part of the standard Grants.gov submission.
III. Narrative (Attachment to SF 424)
    The applicant or subrecipient shall include the supplemental 
narrative in the attachments section of the SF 424 mandatory form in 
Grants.gov to successfully complete the application process.
    The applicant or subrecipient shall respond to the application 
requirements described below. The supplemental narrative shall be 
prepared with standard formatting (e.g. a single-spaced document, using 
a standard 12-point font, such as Times New Roman, with 1-inch margins) 
and should not exceed 5 pages.
    An application shall include information needed to verify that the 
project meets the statutory eligibility criteria as described in 
Section C (Eligibility Information) as well as other information 
required for FHWA to assess each of the selection criteria specified in 
Section E (Application Review Information). The applicant or 
subrecipient is required to demonstrate the responsiveness of the 
proposal to any pertinent selection criteria with the most relevant 
information that applicants can provide, regardless of whether such 
information is specifically requested or identified. The applicant or 
subrecipient shall provide concrete evidence of project milestones, 
financial capacity, and commitment in order to support project 
readiness.
    For ease of review, the narrative should generally adhere to the 
following

[[Page 60405]]

basic outline, and include relevant maps and graphics:
    1. Project Abstract: Describe work that would be completed under 
the project, whether the project is a complete project or part of a 
larger project with prior investment, and the aspect of highway 
transportation and the TIDP goals that the innovation would address 
(maximum five sentences). The project abstract should succinctly 
describe how this specific request for AID Demonstration funding would 
be included in the project.
    2. Project Description: Brief description of the project and 
project objective(s), the innovation and related documented benefits, 
the performance goals and measures for the innovation, current 
organizational/institutional experience with the innovation, and the 
significant improvement to conventional practice expected.
    3. Innovation Performance: Brief description of how the innovation 
will be monitored, assessed, and documented to determine if the 
performance goals and measures are achieved, including a timeline of 
demonstration, deployment, implementation, and/or adoption activities.
    4. Applicant information and coordination with other entities: 
Identification of applicant, and subrecipient if applicable; 
description of cooperation with other entities; and information 
regarding any other entities involved in the project.
    5. Funding Request: Summary of the funding request including the 
basis for determining the cost of the innovation in the project (note: 
a project cost estimate may be the best source for providing this data 
and may be provided as an additional attachment). The applicant should 
also include the total project cost, identifying Federal and non-
Federal shares of project costs.
    6. Eligibility and Selection Criteria: Brief description of how the 
project meets the statutory eligibility criteria as described in 
Section C (Eligibility Information) and the selection criteria 
identified in Section E (Application Review Information).
IV. Contact Information
    The applicant or subrecipient should include contact information 
requested as part of the SF-424. The FHWA will use this information to 
contact applicants and to inform parties of FHWA's decision regarding 
award determination. Contact information should be provided for a 
direct employee of the applicant. Contact information for a contractor, 
agent, or consultant of the lead applicant is insufficient for FHWA's 
purposes.

Additional Information on Applying Through Grants.gov

    Applications for AID Demonstration shall be submitted through 
Grants.gov. To apply for funding through Grants.gov, applicants must be 
properly registered. Complete instructions on how to register and apply 
can be found at www.grants.gov. If interested parties experience 
difficulties at any point during the registration or application 
process, they should call the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline at 1-
800-518-4726, Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., e.t.
    Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process, however, 
processing delays may occur and it can take up to several weeks for 
first-time registrants to receive confirmation and a user password. 
Accordingly, FHWA highly recommends that potential applicants start the 
registration process as early as possible. In order to apply for AID 
Demonstration under this notice and to apply for funding through 
Grants.gov, all applicants are required to complete the following:
    1. Acquire a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number. A DUNS 
number is required for Grants.gov registration. The Office of 
Management and Budget requires that all applicants for Federal funds 
include a DUNS number in their applications for a new award or renewal 
of an existing award. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence 
recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track 
of entities receiving Federal funds. The identifier is used for 
tracking purposes and to validate address and point of contact 
information for Federal assistance applicants, recipients, and 
subrecipients. The DUNS number will be used throughout the grant life 
cycle. Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, one-time activity that can be 
completed by calling 1-866-705-5711 or by applying online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
    2. Acquire or Renew Registration with the System for Award 
Management (SAM) Database. All applicants for Federal financial 
assistance maintain current registrations in the SAM database. An 
applicant must be registered in the SAM to successfully register in 
Grants.gov. The SAM database is the repository for standard information 
about Federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and 
subrecipients. Entities that have previously submitted applications via 
Grants.gov are already registered with SAM, as it is a requirement for 
Grants.gov registration. Please note, however, that applicants must 
update or renew their SAM registration at least once per year to 
maintain an active status, so it is critical to check registration 
status well in advance of relevant application deadlines. Information 
about SAM registration procedures can be accessed at: https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.
    3. Acquire an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and a 
Grants.gov Username and Password. Applicants will need to complete an 
AOR profile on Grants.gov and create a username and password. The 
assigned DUNS Number is required to complete this step. For more 
information about the registration process, go to: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    4. Acquire Authorization for the AOR from the E-Business Point of 
Contact (E-Biz POC). The E-Biz POC for the applicant must log in to 
Grants.gov to confirm the applicant as an AOR. Please note that there 
can be more than one AOR for each applicant.
    5. Search for the Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov. Applicants can 
use the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for this 
solicitation, which is 20.200, titled Technology and Innovation 
Development Program, when searching for the AID Demonstration 
opportunity on Grants.gov.
    6. Submit an Application Addressing All of the Requirements 
Outlined in this Notice of Funding Opportunity. Within 24 to 48 hours 
after submitting an electronic application, applicants should receive 
an email validation message from Grants.gov. The validation message 
will specify whether the application was received and validated or 
rejected, with an explanation.

    Note: When uploading attachments, applicants should use 
generally accepted formats such as .pdf, .doc, and .xls. While 
applicants may imbed picture files such as .jpg, .gif, .bmp, in your 
files, they should not save and submit the attachment in these 
formats. Additionally, the following formats will not be accepted: 
.com, .bat, .exe, .vbs, .cfg, .dat, .db, .dbf, .dll, .ini, .log, 
.ora, .sys, and .zip.

E. Application Review Information

    The FHWA will evaluate AID Demonstration applications in accordance 
with the evaluation process described below.
    The FHWA will establish an evaluation team of technical and 
professional staff with relevant experience and/or expertise to review 
each application received by FHWA through Grants.gov. The evaluation 
team will be responsible for reviewing,

[[Page 60406]]

evaluating, and rating the applications as well as making funding 
recommendations to FHWA senior leadership.
    After reviewing the application, the evaluation team may contact 
the applicant to discuss the application and confirm understanding of 
the requirements for participation in AID Demonstration. Based on the 
information collected, the evaluation team will prepare a summary 
assessment rating the application along with the team's recommendation. 
The summary assessment and recommendation will be presented to FHWA 
senior leadership to make a final determination on the approval of the 
award.
I. Selection Criteria
    All applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and be 
assigned a rating of ``Qualified'' or ``Not Qualified.''
    The ratings are as follows:
    1. Qualified--a project must meet all 8 of the following criteria:
    i. Project ready to authorize within 6 months of applying for AID 
Demonstration funding, including such information as: Evidence of 
project milestones, financial capacity, and commitment in order to 
support project readiness.
    ii. project pilots and demonstrates an innovation with a technology 
readiness level of 7 or higher as defined in Table 1;
    iii. project aligns with TIDP goals to accelerate the 
implementation and delivery of new innovations and technologies that 
result from highway research and development to benefit all aspects of 
highway transportation.;
    iv. innovation is proven in real-world application with documented 
benefits, and not routinely used by the applicant or the subrecipient;
    v. application describes the innovation's magnitude and scope of 
impact on the applicant's or the subrecipient's conventional practice;
    vi. cost estimate is included that directly supports the requested 
funding amount;
    vii. information provided on performance goals and measures for 
respective innovation demonstration and deployment activities;
    viii. application indicates the applicant's or subrecipient's 
willingness to:
    (1) Participate in monitoring and assessment activities regarding 
the effectiveness of the innovation(s) and subsequent technology 
transfer and information dissemination activities associated with the 
project;
    (2) accept FHWA oversight of the project;
    (3) conduct before and after customer satisfaction determinations; 
and
    (4) commit to deployment of the innovation as standard practice in 
the future, if the deployment is successful.

                                   Table 1--Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)
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                    Phase                        TRL             Description                   Examples
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Basic Research..............................          1  Basic principles and         Piezo electric energy
                                                          research.                    harvesting in the
                                                                                       roadway.
                                                                                      Agent-based modeling and
                                                                                       simulations.
                                                      2  Application formulated.....
                                                      3  Proof of concept...........
Applied Research............................          4  Components validated in      Cooperative adaptive
                                                          laboratory environment.      cruise control.
                                                                                      Fiber-reinforced concrete
                                                                                       columns.
                                                      5  Integrated components
                                                          demonstrated in a
                                                          laboratory environment.
Development.................................          6  Prototype demonstrated in    Nondestructive testing for
                                                          relevant environment.        concrete bridge decks,
                                                                                       Strategic Highway
                                                                                       Research Program (SHRP)
                                                                                       R06A.
                                                                                      Software tools for sharing
                                                                                       and integrating
                                                                                       Geographic Information
                                                                                       System (GIS) data.
                                                      7  Prototype demonstrated in
                                                          operational environment.
                                                      8  Technology proven in
                                                          operational environment.
Implementation..............................          9  Technology refined and       FHWA Every Day Counts
                                                          market ready.                (EDC) technologies--e.g.
                                                                                       Warm Mix Asphalt, Safety
                                                                                       Edge, Design-Build,
                                                                                       Programmatic Agreements,
                                                                                       Accelerated Bridge
                                                                                       Construction,
                                                                                       Prefabricated Bridge
                                                                                       Elements & Systems:
                                                                                       https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts/ innovation/everydaycounts/
                                                                                       .
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Not Qualified--If a project meets any one of the following 
criteria, then it is not qualified for funding:
    i. Project does not meet the eligibility requirements;
    ii. application fails to address one or more of the application 
requirements;
    iii. applicant received AID Demonstration funding within the 
current fiscal year; or
    iv. three AID Demonstration funding awards were already made for 
the innovation.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

    Each applicant selected for AID Demonstration funding shall work 
with FHWA on the development and implementation of a plan to collect 
information and report on the project's performance with respect to the 
relevant outcomes that are expected to be achieved through the 
innovation in the project. Each recipient or subrecipient of AID 
Demonstration funding shall report on specified performance indicators 
for its project. Performance indicators will be identified for each 
project, and will consider the individual project's stated goals as 
well as resource constraints of the recipient or subrecipient. 
Performance indicators may include formal goals or targets, will 
include baseline measures as well as post-project outputs, and will 
inform the AID Demonstration in working toward best practices, 
programmatic performance measures, and future decisionmaking 
guidelines. The recipient or subrecipient shall submit a final report 
to FHWA within 6 months of project completion which documents the 
process, benefits, and lessons learned including development and/or 
refinement of guidance, specifications, or other tools and methods to 
support rapid adoption of the innovation(s) as standard practice.

[[Page 60407]]

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information concerning this final notice please 
contact: Mr. Thomas Harman, Director, Federal Highway Administration, 
Office of Innovative Program Delivery, Center for Accelerating 
Innovation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., E84-547, Washington, DC 20590, 
Telephone: (202) 366-6377, or email: [email protected].
    For legal questions, please contact: Ms. Seetha Srinivasan, 
Attorney-Advisor, Federal Highway Administration, Office of the Chief 
Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., E82-328, Washington, DC 20590, 
Telephone: (202) 366-4099, or email: [email protected].
    Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays. A TDD is available for individuals who 
are deaf or hard of hearing at (202) 366-3993.
    In addition, FHWA may post answers to questions and requests for 
clarifications on FHWA's Web site at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/grants. Applicants and subrecipients are encouraged to 
contact FHWA directly to receive information about AID Demonstration.

    Authority: Section 52003 of Pub. L. 112-141; Section 6003 of 
Pub. L. 114-94; 23 U.S.C. 503.

    Issued on: August 24, 2016.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-21063 Filed 8-31-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P