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The NCHRP U.S. Domestic Scan Program (NCHRP Project 20-68A) recognizes the value of firsthand sharing of new technologies and practices. Launched in 2006, the program sponsors up to five scans per year, putting state and federal DOT practitioners who need solutions in touch with innovative peers around the country, speeding the transfer of technology and know-how.

During the intense experience of the scan (typically one to two weeks), participants see firsthand how a new technology or practice works in the real world. They also develop close professional relationships that remain readily available to them even years later.

Creating Effective Scans. Effective scans both supplement and make use of other mechanisms for information exchange such as publications in trade and professional journals, conferences and peer-to-peer forums. A scan focuses on face-to-face discussion of current experience, providing opportunities for a uniquely rich exchange of information that is difficult or impossible to replicate through written materials, telephone conversations or e-mail correspondence. The informal discussions among the group of visitors participating in the scan contribute to the extraction of useful information from the individual members’ observations.

Scan Topics. The scan topics are selected by the NCHRP 20-68A oversight panel from those suggested via a formal solicitation process. In addition to the two initial pilot scans, six scans have been completed twelve more are in various stages of progress. Details on individual current and completed scans can be accessed through the menu at left.

Scan Process. A scan entails four key steps. First, knowledgeable people identify novel and promising practices in their field of interest. Second, these people assess the likelihood that these new ideas might beneficially be applied in other settings. Third, new practices that offer the most promise are selected and field visits are made to observe the practices, identify pertinent development and application issues, and assess appropriate technology transfer opportunities and methods. Finally, the results of the initial steps are documented for use by those who participated and for others to apply.

Scan Findings

Fact Sheet

  • A one-page Program Fact Sheet outlines the U.S. Domestic Scan Program, tells why scans are effective, and explains how to propose scan topics.

Additional Resources

In the News

As of January 2014, scan team members have come from 42 states and Washington D.C. (top); approximately 170 representatives from state and federal agencies have participated on scan teams to date. 40 states and D.C. have served as host states (including participants in peer exchanges, reverse scans and webinars).