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American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

USDOT to award $300m in transportation education grants

The funds will be dispersed to 32 university transportation centers to advance research and education programs addressing critical transportation challenges in the United States, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

   The U.S. Department of Transportation will award $300.3 million in grant funding for transportation research and education, according to a statement from Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
   The funds will be dispersed to 32 university transportation centers (UTCs) to advance research and education programs addressing critical transportation challenges in the United States, Foxx said.
   The awards include up to $72.5 million in funding for the 2016 fiscal year, and subsequent awards for FY2017 through FY2020 will be made annually, subject to availability of funds and grantee compliance with the terms and conditions of the grants.
   The UTCs will work in conjunction with DOT’s $40 million Smart City Challenge competition, which aims to create a fully integrated, data-driven city to rethink the way goods are transported, as well as programs like the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program, and the Mobility-on-Demand Sandbox.
   Congress in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 specified six research priorities UTCs selected through this competition must address: improving mobility of people and goods; reducing congestion; promoting safety; improving the durability and extending the life of transportation infrastructure; preserving the environment; and preserving the existing transportation system.
   As defined in the FAST Act, the UTC program supports applied and academic research on national transportation priorities at up to 35 competitively-selected colleges and university consortia across the country. This year, for the first time, two-year institutions of higher education were eligible to partner in the UTC consortia.
   UTCs work with regional, state, and local transportation agencies and private sector partners to help find solutions to challenges that directly impact their communities and affect the efficiency of the nation’s transportation system, as well as to educate the next generation of transportation leaders.
   Nine of the grantees selected through the competition are new recipients of UTC program grants. Thirty partners in the grantee consortia are Minority Serving Institutions, and seven partners are two-year institutions.
   A complete list of 2016 UTC grant award recipients can be found on the USDOT website.
   “Our nation faces unprecedented challenges from population growth, a changing climate, and increasing freight volumes. Universities are at the forefront of identifying solutions, researching critical emerging issues, and ensuring improved access to opportunity for all Americans,” Secretary Foxx said of the grant program. “This competition supports the future transportation workforce by providing students with opportunities to take part in cutting-edge research with leading experts in the field.”

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