Notice of Funding Availability for Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration, 9580-9585 [2014-03452]

Download as PDF 9580 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 33 / Wednesday, February 19, 2014 / Notices Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA’s performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB’s clearance of this information collection. Issued in Washington, DC, on February 12, 2014. Albert R. Spence, FAA Assistant Information Collection Clearance Officer, IT Enterprises Business Services Division, ASP–110. [FR Doc. 2014–03542 Filed 2–18–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration [Docket No. FHWA–2013–0048] Notice of Funding Availability for Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of funding availability. AGENCY: This final notice announces the availability of funding and requests grant applications for FHWA’s Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration authorized within the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP) under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21). In addition, this final notice addresses comments received on the interim notice of funding availability (Docket No. FHWA–2013–0048), announces selection criteria, application requirements, and technical assistance during the grant solicitation period for the AID Demonstration. The FHWA’s response to the comments and revisions made in this final notice are described below in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. DATES: Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the eligible project is within six months of being initiated. Completed applications will be evaluated and award determinations made on a rolling basis until the program ends or funding is no longer available. Information will be updated on FHWA’s Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/ grants to notify applicants of the status EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Feb 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 of the program and availability of funding. The FHWA plans to conduct outreach regarding the AID Demonstration in the form of a Webinar within 2 weeks of this notice being issued. Participants can pre-register online at: https:// connectdot.connectsolutions.com/ aiddemo/event/event_info.html. Information on the Webinar date and time will be emailed to registered participants. The Webinar will be recorded and posted on FHWA’s Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ accelerating/grants. ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov. The FHWA will not accept applications that are sent directly to FHWA outside of the Grants.gov process. Instructions for submitting through Grants.gov are included in Section VI (E) of this final notice. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Ewa Flom, Program Manager, Center for Accelerating Innovation, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366–2169; or 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., Eastern Standard Time 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, the FHWA will regularly post answers to questions and requests for clarifications on FHWA’s Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/ grants. Applicants are encouraged to contact FHWA directly to receive information about AID Demonstration. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 1, 2013, the FHWA published an interim notice of funding availability (NOFA) for the AID Demonstration Program (Docket No. FHWA–2013– 0048). The interim notice requested comments on the proposed selection criteria, evaluation criteria, and evaluation requirements for AID Demonstration funding. The FHWA considered comments that were received from seven commenters, including two anonymous, two private citizens, one not-for-profit research organization, one State DOT, and one municipal government. The FHWA revised elements of the notice as described below. There was an editorial error made in the Table of Contents by listing a subsection heading of ‘‘Protection of Confidential Business Information’’ under Section VI (Application Process). There was no PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 information provided and no need for this subsection. As a result, the subsection heading has been deleted. Response to Comments 1. The FHWA received a question from an anonymous commenter in reference to whether AID Demonstration funds can be used to do research and conduct full-scale crash testing of products. AID Demonstration funds are intended to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovation in highway transportation. The funds are to be used for deployment, not for research or testing, of proven innovative practices or technologies. 2. The FHWA received a comment from a private citizen requesting consideration of applications from consortiums, including State DOTs, universities and industry, on novel materials, methods, and technologies to be considered through a phased product development program. The FHWA believes that this is not within the scope or intent of the AID Demonstration program. The use of AID Demonstration funds is for deployment of proven innovative practices or technologies. There are other programs, such as the Transportation Pooled Fund program, that may be better suited for a product development approach. However, the FHWA encourages applicants to cooperate and coordinate with other entities as needed. The narrative application includes identification of the applicant, subrecipient, and a description of cooperation with any other entity involved in the project. 3. The FHWA received questions from an anonymous commenter in reference to the eligibility of technologies that focus on the operation of highway transportation commercial vehicle programs and technology innovations that are added to existing infrastructure. As described in Section III (Eligibility), AID Demonstration funds are available for any project eligible for assistance under title 23, United States Code. Eligible projects may involve any aspect of highway transportation including planning, financing, operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, and construction that address the TIDP goals mentioned in Section I (Background). 4. The FHWA received a comment from a not-for-profit research organization requesting that we add language under Selection Criteria (or other appropriate section) to give priority funding consideration to projects that ‘‘leverage funding through participation in the Transportation Pooled Fund Program.’’ The AID E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 33 / Wednesday, February 19, 2014 / Notices Demonstration funding is intended to be used by an applicant on a project within their highway transportation program. The FHWA does not believe that this change is necessary because applicants have broad flexibility to select and leverage funding sources to advance projects. 5. The FHWA received a question from the Idaho DOT in reference to the Federal fund match requirements. To clarify, the AID Demonstration fund award is based on the cost of the innovation in a project, not the total project cost. The FHWA also encourages States to use Section 1304 of MAP–21 (23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3)) ‘‘Innovative Project Delivery Methods’’ on projects that may qualify to increase the Federal share by up to 5 percent. The awarded AID Demonstration funds would be used in place of other Federal program funds and do not otherwise modify the Federal fund match requirements. This clarification will be included in program guidance; however, no change is necessary to the NOFA. 6. The Idaho DOT also expressed concern that the rolling submittal process would not allow for FHWA to compare all of the applications submitted and would favor the first projects submitted, which may not necessarily be the best projects. The FHWA realizes that a rolling submittal may seem atypical for DOT grants and FHWA has considered setting specific and regular application due dates. Although the FHWA understands the perspective of the commenter, this program is intended to accelerate innovation deployment and we believe a rolling solicitation will award funds to projects that are ready to implement innovations immediately, such as the Every Day Counts initiatives. The FHWA believes that comparison of projects may not be relevant due to the broad range of eligible projects involving any aspect of highway transportation. As a result, no change is necessary to the NOFA. 7. The FHWA received a comment from the Boston, Massachusetts municipal government requesting that cities and local agencies be allowed to apply directly for AID Demonstration funds. The commenter was also concerned that the limitation of one project per State DOT may limit the opportunities for Metropolitan planning organizations and local governments. Pursuant to 23 CFR 635.105, ‘‘The STD has responsibility for the construction of all Federal-aid projects, and is not relieved of such responsibility by authorizing performance of the work by a local public agency or other Federal agency.’’ Metropolitan planning VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Feb 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 organizations and local governments are not able to apply as a direct recipient for AID Demonstration funding. However FHWA understands the commenter’s concern in reference to the limitation on awards and State DOT project priorities. In the final NOFA, the limitation of one project per applicant is revised so that one project may be awarded to a State DOT and another project to a subrecipient. The change is reflected in Section II (Program Funding and Award), Section III (Eligibility), and Section IV (Selection Criteria). 8. The Boston, Massachusetts municipal government also suggested that the NOFA should specifically authorize funding for staff to implement the innovation being funded. In the narrative portion of the application, the applicant must specify the funding request including the basis for determining the cost of the innovation in the project. The FHWA believes that if funding for staff is part of the innovation cost for an eligible project, the applicant will need to include it in the application for consideration. 9. The FHWA received comments from a private citizen suggesting that the selection criteria be expanded to require applicants to indicate a willingness to participate in specific technology transfer as well as monitoring and assessment activities. The FHWA agrees that the suggested examples could be of value for applicants to consider, however due to the broad range of eligible projects, specifying activities would be too limiting. Examples of activities will be included in program guidance available on FHWA’s Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ accelerating/grants as reference information; however, no change is necessary to the NOFA. 10. The same private citizen also suggested that the agency assign more weight to proposals that: Include two or more EDC activities as a package; include a team that incorporates a Professional Traffic Operation Engineer; or generate more direct jobs to strengthen the present and future transportation workforce. The FHWA encourages and supports the use of AID Demonstration grants to accelerate the deployment of EDC innovations and intends to give priority consideration to applications that include EDC innovations. The broad range of eligible projects does not lend itself to specifying team composition as criteria. It is assumed that accelerating innovation deployment and the variety of projects anticipated to receive funding would generate jobs supporting the transportation workforce. However, the FHWA believes the selection criteria PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9581 must focus on the intent of the program in terms of project eligibility and innovation deployment, and therefore, no change is necessary. This is the final NOFA; FHWA is no longer considering comments on the proposed selection and evaluation criteria for AID Demonstration. The selection and evaluation criteria, application requirements, and technical assistance established in this final NOFA will govern the program during the grant solicitation period. Table of Contents I. Background II. Program Funding and Award III. Eligibility A. Entities Eligible To Apply for Funding B. Eligible Uses of Funds IV. Selection Criteria V. Evaluation Process VI. Application Process A. Contents of Applications B. Standard Form 424 C. Narrative D. Contact Information E. Additional Information on Applying Through Grants.gov F. Experiencing Technical Issues With Grants.gov VII. Performance Measurement VIII. Questions and Clarifications I. Background On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law MAP–21 (Pub. L. 112– 141), which amends 23 U.S.C. 503 for TIDP to implement accelerated innovation deployment; future strategic highway research program findings and results; and accelerated implementation and deployment of pavement technologies. 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-theart 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 longerlasting 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 E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 9582 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 33 / Wednesday, February 19, 2014 / Notices EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES deploy new tools, techniques, and practices to accelerate the adoption of innovation in all aspects of highway transportation. II. Program Funding and Award Section 51001 of MAP–21 authorized $62,500,000 for the TIDP for each of Fiscal Years (FY) 2013 and 2014. The funds are subject to obligation limitation that is established in appropriations law. The amount of TIDP budget authority available in a given year may be less than the amount authorized for that fiscal year. The AID Demonstration is one aspect of the multifaceted TIDP approach. The FHWA expects approximately $15,000,000 to be made available in each of FY 2013 and FY 2014 for AID Demonstration. The FHWA will award AID Demonstration funds to multiple projects. The FHWA has funding award goals of up to $14,000,000 available to State departments of transportation (State DOT) and up to $1,000,000 available to Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal governments. Awards are limited to up to two projects per State DOT applicant, with up to one project award to a State DOT and up to one project award to a subrecipient applying through the State DOT, and limited to one project award per applicant for Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal governments, subject to the number of eligible applications and the availability of funds. The amount of the award may be up to the full cost of the innovation, but only to a maximum of $1,000,000. States are also encouraged to use Section 1304 of MAP–21 ‘‘Innovative Project Delivery Methods’’ (23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3)) to increase the Federal share on these projects up to 5 percent. Information on the ‘‘Innovative Project Delivery Methods’’ provision is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/ qandas/qaipd.cfm. These funding goals will be reviewed annually and may be adjusted to reflect current priorities and needs. The FHWA will use an open, rolling solicitation. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as the eligible project is within 6 months of being initiated. Funds will be allocated upon award selection. Award recipients shall obligate the awarded funds to the project within 6 months of fund allocation. Award recipients shall submit a final report to the FHWA within 6 months of project completion based on the plan described in Section VII (Performance Measurement) that documents the process, benefits, and lessons learned VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Feb 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 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. III. Eligibility A. Entities Eligible To Apply for Funding The AID Demonstration provides incentive funding for eligible entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovation in highway transportation. Section 502(b)(3) of title 23, U.S.C., authorizes the Secretary to award research 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. We believe 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, 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 State DOT as a subrecipient. Applicants must submit applications electronically through Grants.gov. The FHWA has funding award goals of up to $14,000,000 available to State DOTs and up to $1,000,000 available to Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal governments. Awards are limited to up to two projects per State DOT applicant, with up to one project award to a State DOT and up to one project award to a subrecipient applying through the State DOT, and limited to one project award per applicant for Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal governments, subject to the number of eligible applications and the availability of funds. These funding goals will be reviewed annually and may be adjusted to reflect current priorities and needs. B. Eligible Uses of Funds The AID Demonstration funds are available for any project eligible for assistance under title 23, United States Code. Eligible projects may involve any aspect of highway transportation including planning, financing, operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, and construction that address the TIDP goals PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 mentioned in Section I (Background). Projects eligible for funding shall include proven innovative practices or technologies, including infrastructure and non-infrastructure strategies or activities, which the applicant or subrecipient intends to implement and adopt as a significant improvement from the applicant’s or the subrecipient’s conventional practice. The amount of the award may be up to the full cost of the innovation in the project, but only to a maximum of $1,000,000. States are also encouraged to use Section 1304 of MAP–21 (23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3)) ‘‘Innovative Project Delivery Methods’’ on projects that may qualify to increase the Federal share by up to 5 percent. Information on the ‘‘Innovative Project Delivery Methods’’ is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ map21/qandas/qaipd.cfm. IV. Selection Criteria The FHWA will award TIDP AID Demonstration funds to projects based on the selection criteria outlined below. The FHWA will use an open, rolling solicitation. Project readiness will be treated as primary selection criteria in FHWA’s evaluation process. The project must be ready to be implemented within 6 months of applying for AID Demonstration funding. An eligible project shall include an innovation that aligns with the previously described TIDP goals. The innovation must be proven in real-world application with documented benefits (in a form that is publicly available or verifiable), not routinely used by the applicant or the subrecipient, and of 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: http:// www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/. Awards are limited to up to two projects per State DOT applicant, with up to one project award to a State DOT and up to one project award to a subrecipient applying through the State DOT, and limited to one project award per applicant for Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal governments, subject to the number of eligible applications and the availability of funds. To ensure a wide variety of innovations and project types, the FHWA will also initially limit awards to three projects per innovation. If several applications submitted at the same time are rated as ‘‘Qualified’’ and exceed the amount of available funding, the FHWA intends to give priority funding consideration to projects that (1) have E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 33 / Wednesday, February 19, 2014 / Notices not received TIDP funding, and (2) use an innovation that is included in the EDC initiative. 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 for construction projects. V. Evaluation Process The FHWA will evaluate AID Demonstration applications in accordance with the evaluation process discussed 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, 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. EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES A. Selection Criteria All applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and be assigned a rating of ‘‘Qualified’’ or ‘‘Not Qualified.’’ If several applications submitted at the same time are rated as ‘‘Qualified’’, the FHWA will give priority funding consideration to projects that (1) have not received TIDP funding and (2) use an innovation that is included in the EDC initiative. The ratings are as follows: 1. Qualified: • Project ready to initiate within 6 months of applying for AID Demonstration funding; • project innovation aligns with TIDP goals; • innovation is proven in real-world application with documented benefits, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Feb 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 and not routinely used by the applicant or the subrecipient; • application describes the innovation’s magnitude and scope of impact on the applicant’s or the subrecipient’s conventional practice; • data is included that directly supports the requested funding amount; • information provided on performance goals and measures for respective innovation demonstration and deployment activities; • 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; and (3) conduct before and after customer satisfaction determinations for construction projects. 2. Not Qualified: • Project does not meet the eligibility requirements; • application does not meet the ‘‘Qualified’’ rating; • application fails to address one or more of the application requirements; • applicant received AID Demonstration funding within the current fiscal year; • three projects with the innovation were already awarded AID Demonstration funding. VI. Application Process A. 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. B. Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance Applicants should see http:// apply07.grants.gov/apply/forms/ sample/SF424_2_1-V2.1.pdf for instructions on completing the SF 424, which is part of the standard Grants.gov submission. PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9583 C. 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 five pages. An application shall include information needed to verify that the project meets the statutory eligibility criteria as described in Section III (Eligibility) as well as other information required for FHWA to assess each of the criteria specified in Section IV (Selection Criteria). 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 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, E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 9584 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 33 / Wednesday, February 19, 2014 / Notices 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. The applicant should also include the total project cost. 6. Eligibility and Selection Criteria: Brief description of how the project meets the statutory eligibility criteria as described in Section III (Eligibility) and the selection criteria identified in Section IV (Selection Criteria). EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES D. 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 selection of projects. 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. E. 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. Eastern Standard Time. Registering with Grants.gov is a onetime 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Feb 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 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 Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Database. All applicants for Federal financial assistance maintain current registrations in the CCR database. An applicant must be registered in the CCR to successfully register in Grants.gov. The CCR 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 CCR, as it is a requirement for Grants.gov registration. Please note, however, that applicants must update or renew their CCR 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 CCR 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 (EBiz 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. PO 00000 Frm 00129 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6. Submit an Application Addressing All of the Requirements Outlined in this Notice of Funding Availability. 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. F. Experiencing Technical Issues With 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. Eastern Standard Time. VII. Performance Measurement 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 will not include formal goals or targets, but will include baseline measures as well as post-project outputs, and will inform the AID Demonstration program 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. VIII. Questions and Clarifications For further information concerning this final notice please contact Ms. Ewa E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 33 / Wednesday, February 19, 2014 / Notices Flom, Program Manager, Center for Accelerating Innovation, (202) 366– 2169, or Ms. Seetha Srinivasan, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366–4099, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. 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 will 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; 23 U.S.C. 503. Issued on: January 24, 2014. Gregory G. Nadeau, Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. [FR Doc. 2014–03452 Filed 2–18–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA–2000–7257; Notice No. 77] Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Announcement of Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) Meeting. AGENCY: FRA announces the fifty-first meeting of the RSAC, a Federal Advisory Committee that develops railroad safety regulations through a consensus process. The RSAC meeting topics will include opening remarks from the FRA Administrator, and status reports will be provided by the Train Crew Size, Securement, Hazardous Material Issues, Fatigue Management, and Risk Reduction Working Groups. Status reports will also be provided by the Engineering Task Force. This agenda is subject to change, including the possible addition of further proposed tasks. DATES: The RSAC meeting is scheduled to commence at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2014, and will adjourn by 4:30 p.m. ADDRESSES: The RSAC meeting will be held at the National Housing Center located at 1201 15th Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. The meeting is EMCDONALD on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Feb 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 open to the public on a first-come, firstserved basis, and is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Sign and oral interpretation can be made available if requested 10 calendar days before the meeting. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Woolverton, RSAC Administrative Officer/Coordinator, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mailstop 25, Washington, DC 20590, (202) 493–6212; or Robert Lauby, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mailstop 25, Washington, DC 20590, (202) 493–6474. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463), FRA is giving notice of a meeting of the RSAC. The RSAC was established to provide advice and recommendations to FRA on railroad safety matters. The RSAC is composed of 60 voting representatives from 39 member organizations, representing various rail industry perspectives. In addition, there are non-voting advisory representatives from the agencies with railroad safety regulatory responsibility in Canada and Mexico, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Transit Administration. The diversity of the Committee ensures the requisite range of views and expertise necessary to discharge its responsibilities. See the RSAC Web site for details on prior RSAC activities and pending tasks at http://rsac.fra.dot.gov/. Please refer to the notice published in the Federal Register on March 11, 1996 (61 FR 9740), for additional information about the RSAC. Robert C. Lauby, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety and Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2014–03579 Filed 2–18–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2014–0003] Americans With Disabilities Act: Proposed Circular Amendment 1 Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of availability of four additional proposed circular chapters and request for comments. AGENCY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site proposed guidance in the form of four additional SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00130 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9585 circular chapters to help transportation providers meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. These proposed chapters include Chapter 1 (Introduction and Applicability), Chapter 2 (General Requirements), Chapter 5 (Equivalent Facilitation), and Chapter 8 (Complementary Paratransit Service). Along with the proposed chapter on vehicle acquisition published on October 2, 2012, these chapters are part of a series of approximately 12 chapters that will compose a complete ADA circular. By this notice, FTA invites public comment on these four additional proposed circular chapters, as well as suggestions for specific issues to address in future chapters. DATES: Comments must be submitted by April 21, 2014. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to Docket No. FTA–2014–0003 by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Fax: (202) 493–2251. Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit Administration) and Docket number FTA–2014–0003 for this notice at the beginning of your comments. You should submit two copies of your comments if you submit them by mail. If you wish to receive confirmation that FTA received your comments, you must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov including any personal information provided and will be available to Internet users. You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477). Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents and comments received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 33 (Wednesday, February 19, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9580-9585]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-03452]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

[Docket No. FHWA-2013-0048]


Notice of Funding Availability for Accelerated Innovation 
Deployment Demonstration

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

ACTION: Notice of funding availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This final notice announces the availability of funding and 
requests grant applications for FHWA's Accelerated Innovation 
Deployment (AID) Demonstration authorized within the Technology and 
Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP) under the Moving Ahead for 
Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). In addition, this final 
notice addresses comments received on the interim notice of funding 
availability (Docket No. FHWA-2013-0048), announces selection criteria, 
application requirements, and technical assistance during the grant 
solicitation period for the AID Demonstration. The FHWA's response to 
the comments and revisions made in this final notice are described 
below in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

DATES: Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov. Applicants 
are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the eligible project 
is within six months of being initiated. Completed applications will be 
evaluated and award determinations made on a rolling basis until the 
program ends or funding is no longer available. Information will be 
updated on FHWA's Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/grants to notify applicants of the status of the program and 
availability of funding. The FHWA plans to conduct outreach regarding 
the AID Demonstration in the form of a Webinar within 2 weeks of this 
notice being issued. Participants can pre-register online at: https://connectdot.connectsolutions.com/aiddemo/event/event_info.html. 
Information on the Webinar date and time will be emailed to registered 
participants. The Webinar will be recorded and posted on FHWA's Web 
site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/grants.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted electronically through 
Grants.gov. The FHWA will not accept applications that are sent 
directly to FHWA outside of the Grants.gov process. Instructions for 
submitting through Grants.gov are included in Section VI (E) of this 
final notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Ewa Flom, Program Manager, Center 
for Accelerating Innovation, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-2169; or 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., Eastern 
Standard Time 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, the FHWA will regularly post answers to questions and 
requests for clarifications on FHWA's Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/grants. Applicants are encouraged to 
contact FHWA directly to receive information about AID Demonstration.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 1, 2013, the FHWA published an 
interim notice of funding availability (NOFA) for the AID Demonstration 
Program (Docket No. FHWA-2013-0048). The interim notice requested 
comments on the proposed selection criteria, evaluation criteria, and 
evaluation requirements for AID Demonstration funding. The FHWA 
considered comments that were received from seven commenters, including 
two anonymous, two private citizens, one not-for-profit research 
organization, one State DOT, and one municipal government. The FHWA 
revised elements of the notice as described below. There was an 
editorial error made in the Table of Contents by listing a subsection 
heading of ``Protection of Confidential Business Information'' under 
Section VI (Application Process). There was no information provided and 
no need for this subsection. As a result, the subsection heading has 
been deleted.

Response to Comments

    1. The FHWA received a question from an anonymous commenter in 
reference to whether AID Demonstration funds can be used to do research 
and conduct full-scale crash testing of products. AID Demonstration 
funds are intended to accelerate the implementation and adoption of 
innovation in highway transportation. The funds are to be used for 
deployment, not for research or testing, of proven innovative practices 
or technologies.
    2. The FHWA received a comment from a private citizen requesting 
consideration of applications from consortiums, including State DOTs, 
universities and industry, on novel materials, methods, and 
technologies to be considered through a phased product development 
program. The FHWA believes that this is not within the scope or intent 
of the AID Demonstration program. The use of AID Demonstration funds is 
for deployment of proven innovative practices or technologies. There 
are other programs, such as the Transportation Pooled Fund program, 
that may be better suited for a product development approach. However, 
the FHWA encourages applicants to cooperate and coordinate with other 
entities as needed. The narrative application includes identification 
of the applicant, subrecipient, and a description of cooperation with 
any other entity involved in the project.
    3. The FHWA received questions from an anonymous commenter in 
reference to the eligibility of technologies that focus on the 
operation of highway transportation commercial vehicle programs and 
technology innovations that are added to existing infrastructure. As 
described in Section III (Eligibility), AID Demonstration funds are 
available for any project eligible for assistance under title 23, 
United States Code. Eligible projects may involve any aspect of highway 
transportation including planning, financing, operation, structures, 
materials, pavements, environment, and construction that address the 
TIDP goals mentioned in Section I (Background).
    4. The FHWA received a comment from a not-for-profit research 
organization requesting that we add language under Selection Criteria 
(or other appropriate section) to give priority funding consideration 
to projects that ``leverage funding through participation in the 
Transportation Pooled Fund Program.'' The AID

[[Page 9581]]

Demonstration funding is intended to be used by an applicant on a 
project within their highway transportation program. The FHWA does not 
believe that this change is necessary because applicants have broad 
flexibility to select and leverage funding sources to advance projects.
    5. The FHWA received a question from the Idaho DOT in reference to 
the Federal fund match requirements. To clarify, the AID Demonstration 
fund award is based on the cost of the innovation in a project, not the 
total project cost. The FHWA also encourages States to use Section 1304 
of MAP-21 (23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3)) ``Innovative Project Delivery Methods'' 
on projects that may qualify to increase the Federal share by up to 5 
percent. The awarded AID Demonstration funds would be used in place of 
other Federal program funds and do not otherwise modify the Federal 
fund match requirements. This clarification will be included in program 
guidance; however, no change is necessary to the NOFA.
    6. The Idaho DOT also expressed concern that the rolling submittal 
process would not allow for FHWA to compare all of the applications 
submitted and would favor the first projects submitted, which may not 
necessarily be the best projects. The FHWA realizes that a rolling 
submittal may seem atypical for DOT grants and FHWA has considered 
setting specific and regular application due dates. Although the FHWA 
understands the perspective of the commenter, this program is intended 
to accelerate innovation deployment and we believe a rolling 
solicitation will award funds to projects that are ready to implement 
innovations immediately, such as the Every Day Counts initiatives. The 
FHWA believes that comparison of projects may not be relevant due to 
the broad range of eligible projects involving any aspect of highway 
transportation. As a result, no change is necessary to the NOFA.
    7. The FHWA received a comment from the Boston, Massachusetts 
municipal government requesting that cities and local agencies be 
allowed to apply directly for AID Demonstration funds. The commenter 
was also concerned that the limitation of one project per State DOT may 
limit the opportunities for Metropolitan planning organizations and 
local governments. Pursuant to 23 CFR 635.105, ``The STD has 
responsibility for the construction of all Federal-aid projects, and is 
not relieved of such responsibility by authorizing performance of the 
work by a local public agency or other Federal agency.'' Metropolitan 
planning organizations and local governments are not able to apply as a 
direct recipient for AID Demonstration funding. However FHWA 
understands the commenter's concern in reference to the limitation on 
awards and State DOT project priorities. In the final NOFA, the 
limitation of one project per applicant is revised so that one project 
may be awarded to a State DOT and another project to a subrecipient. 
The change is reflected in Section II (Program Funding and Award), 
Section III (Eligibility), and Section IV (Selection Criteria).
    8. The Boston, Massachusetts municipal government also suggested 
that the NOFA should specifically authorize funding for staff to 
implement the innovation being funded. In the narrative portion of the 
application, the applicant must specify the funding request including 
the basis for determining the cost of the innovation in the project. 
The FHWA believes that if funding for staff is part of the innovation 
cost for an eligible project, the applicant will need to include it in 
the application for consideration.
    9. The FHWA received comments from a private citizen suggesting 
that the selection criteria be expanded to require applicants to 
indicate a willingness to participate in specific technology transfer 
as well as monitoring and assessment activities. The FHWA agrees that 
the suggested examples could be of value for applicants to consider, 
however due to the broad range of eligible projects, specifying 
activities would be too limiting. Examples of activities will be 
included in program guidance available on FHWA's Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/grants as reference information; however, 
no change is necessary to the NOFA.
    10. The same private citizen also suggested that the agency assign 
more weight to proposals that: Include two or more EDC activities as a 
package; include a team that incorporates a Professional Traffic 
Operation Engineer; or generate more direct jobs to strengthen the 
present and future transportation workforce. The FHWA encourages and 
supports the use of AID Demonstration grants to accelerate the 
deployment of EDC innovations and intends to give priority 
consideration to applications that include EDC innovations. The broad 
range of eligible projects does not lend itself to specifying team 
composition as criteria. It is assumed that accelerating innovation 
deployment and the variety of projects anticipated to receive funding 
would generate jobs supporting the transportation workforce. However, 
the FHWA believes the selection criteria must focus on the intent of 
the program in terms of project eligibility and innovation deployment, 
and therefore, no change is necessary.
    This is the final NOFA; FHWA is no longer considering comments on 
the proposed selection and evaluation criteria for AID Demonstration. 
The selection and evaluation criteria, application requirements, and 
technical assistance established in this final NOFA will govern the 
program during the grant solicitation period.

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Program Funding and Award
III. Eligibility
    A. Entities Eligible To Apply for Funding
    B. Eligible Uses of Funds
IV. Selection Criteria
V. Evaluation Process
VI. Application Process
    A. Contents of Applications
    B. Standard Form 424
    C. Narrative
    D. Contact Information
    E. Additional Information on Applying Through Grants.gov
    F. Experiencing Technical Issues With Grants.gov
VII. Performance Measurement
VIII. Questions and Clarifications

I. Background

    On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law MAP-21 (Pub. L. 
112-141), which amends 23 U.S.C. 503 for TIDP to implement accelerated 
innovation deployment; future strategic highway research program 
findings and results; and accelerated implementation and deployment of 
pavement technologies. 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

[[Page 9582]]

deploy new tools, techniques, and practices to accelerate the adoption 
of innovation in all aspects of highway transportation.

II. Program Funding and Award

    Section 51001 of MAP-21 authorized $62,500,000 for the TIDP for 
each of Fiscal Years (FY) 2013 and 2014. The funds are subject to 
obligation limitation that is established in appropriations law. The 
amount of TIDP budget authority available in a given year may be less 
than the amount authorized for that fiscal year.
    The AID Demonstration is one aspect of the multifaceted TIDP 
approach. The FHWA expects approximately $15,000,000 to be made 
available in each of FY 2013 and FY 2014 for AID Demonstration. The 
FHWA will award AID Demonstration funds to multiple projects. The FHWA 
has funding award goals of up to $14,000,000 available to State 
departments of transportation (State DOT) and up to $1,000,000 
available to Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal governments. 
Awards are limited to up to two projects per State DOT applicant, with 
up to one project award to a State DOT and up to one project award to a 
subrecipient applying through the State DOT, and limited to one project 
award per applicant for Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal 
governments, subject to the number of eligible applications and the 
availability of funds.
    The amount of the award may be up to the full cost of the 
innovation, but only to a maximum of $1,000,000. States are also 
encouraged to use Section 1304 of MAP-21 ``Innovative Project Delivery 
Methods'' (23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3)) to increase the Federal share on these 
projects up to 5 percent. Information on the ``Innovative Project 
Delivery Methods'' provision is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/qandas/qaipd.cfm. These funding goals will be reviewed annually 
and may be adjusted to reflect current priorities and needs.
    The FHWA will use an open, rolling solicitation. Applicants are 
encouraged to apply as soon as the eligible project is within 6 months 
of being initiated. Funds will be allocated upon award selection. Award 
recipients shall obligate the awarded funds to the project within 6 
months of fund allocation.
    Award recipients shall submit a final report to the FHWA within 6 
months of project completion based on the plan described in Section VII 
(Performance Measurement) that 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.

III. Eligibility

A. Entities Eligible To Apply for Funding

    The AID Demonstration provides incentive funding for eligible 
entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovation in 
highway transportation. Section 502(b)(3) of title 23, U.S.C., 
authorizes the Secretary to award research 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. 
We believe 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, 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 State DOT as a 
subrecipient. Applicants must submit applications electronically 
through Grants.gov.
    The FHWA has funding award goals of up to $14,000,000 available to 
State DOTs and up to $1,000,000 available to Federal Land Management 
Agencies and tribal governments. Awards are limited to up to two 
projects per State DOT applicant, with up to one project award to a 
State DOT and up to one project award to a subrecipient applying 
through the State DOT, and limited to one project award per applicant 
for Federal Land Management Agencies and tribal governments, subject to 
the number of eligible applications and the availability of funds. 
These funding goals will be reviewed annually and may be adjusted to 
reflect current priorities and needs.

B. Eligible Uses of Funds

    The AID Demonstration funds are available for any project eligible 
for assistance under title 23, United States Code. Eligible projects 
may involve any aspect of highway transportation including planning, 
financing, operation, structures, materials, pavements, environment, 
and construction that address the TIDP goals mentioned in Section I 
(Background). Projects eligible for funding shall include proven 
innovative practices or technologies, including infrastructure and non-
infrastructure strategies or activities, which the applicant or 
subrecipient intends to implement and adopt as a significant 
improvement from the applicant's or the subrecipient's conventional 
practice.
    The amount of the award may be up to the full cost of the 
innovation in the project, but only to a maximum of $1,000,000. States 
are also encouraged to use Section 1304 of MAP-21 (23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3)) 
``Innovative Project Delivery Methods'' on projects that may qualify to 
increase the Federal share by up to 5 percent. Information on the 
``Innovative Project Delivery Methods'' is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/qandas/qaipd.cfm.

IV. Selection Criteria

    The FHWA will award TIDP AID Demonstration funds to projects based 
on the selection criteria outlined below.
    The FHWA will use an open, rolling solicitation. Project readiness 
will be treated as primary selection criteria in FHWA's evaluation 
process. The project must be ready to be implemented within 6 months of 
applying for AID Demonstration funding. An eligible project shall 
include an innovation that aligns with the previously described TIDP 
goals. The innovation must be proven in real-world application with 
documented benefits (in a form that is publicly available or 
verifiable), not routinely used by the applicant or the subrecipient, 
and of 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: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/.
    Awards are limited to up to two projects per State DOT applicant, 
with up to one project award to a State DOT and up to one project award 
to a subrecipient applying through the State DOT, and limited to one 
project award per applicant for Federal Land Management Agencies and 
tribal governments, subject to the number of eligible applications and 
the availability of funds. To ensure a wide variety of innovations and 
project types, the FHWA will also initially limit awards to three 
projects per innovation. If several applications submitted at the same 
time are rated as ``Qualified'' and exceed the amount of available 
funding, the FHWA intends to give priority funding consideration to 
projects that (1) have

[[Page 9583]]

not received TIDP funding, and (2) use an innovation that is included 
in the EDC initiative.
    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 for 
construction projects.

V. Evaluation Process

    The FHWA will evaluate AID Demonstration applications in accordance 
with the evaluation process discussed 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, 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.
A. Selection Criteria
    All applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and be 
assigned a rating of ``Qualified'' or ``Not Qualified.'' If several 
applications submitted at the same time are rated as ``Qualified'', the 
FHWA will give priority funding consideration to projects that (1) have 
not received TIDP funding and (2) use an innovation that is included in 
the EDC initiative.
    The ratings are as follows:
    1. Qualified:
     Project ready to initiate within 6 months of applying for 
AID Demonstration funding;
     project innovation aligns with TIDP goals;
     innovation is proven in real-world application with 
documented benefits, and not routinely used by the applicant or the 
subrecipient;
     application describes the innovation's magnitude and scope 
of impact on the applicant's or the subrecipient's conventional 
practice;
     data is included that directly supports the requested 
funding amount;
     information provided on performance goals and measures for 
respective innovation demonstration and deployment activities;
     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; and
    (3) conduct before and after customer satisfaction determinations 
for construction projects.
    2. Not Qualified:
     Project does not meet the eligibility requirements;
     application does not meet the ``Qualified'' rating;
     application fails to address one or more of the 
application requirements;
     applicant received AID Demonstration funding within the 
current fiscal year;
     three projects with the innovation were already awarded 
AID Demonstration funding.

VI. Application Process

A. 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.

B. Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance

    Applicants should see http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/forms/sample/SF424_2_1-V2.1.pdf for instructions on completing the SF 424, which 
is part of the standard Grants.gov submission.

C. 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 five pages.
    An application shall include information needed to verify that the 
project meets the statutory eligibility criteria as described in 
Section III (Eligibility) as well as other information required for 
FHWA to assess each of the criteria specified in Section IV (Selection 
Criteria). 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 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,

[[Page 9584]]

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. The 
applicant should also include the total project cost.
    6. Eligibility and Selection Criteria: Brief description of how the 
project meets the statutory eligibility criteria as described in 
Section III (Eligibility) and the selection criteria identified in 
Section IV (Selection Criteria).

D. 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 
selection of projects. 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.

E. 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. Eastern 
Standard Time.
    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 Central Contractor 
Registration (CCR) Database. All applicants for Federal financial 
assistance maintain current registrations in the CCR database. An 
applicant must be registered in the CCR to successfully register in 
Grants.gov. The CCR 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 CCR, as it is a requirement for 
Grants.gov registration. Please note, however, that applicants must 
update or renew their CCR 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 CCR 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 Availability. 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.

F. Experiencing Technical Issues With 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. Eastern Standard Time.

VII. Performance Measurement

    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 will not include formal goals or targets, but 
will include baseline measures as well as post-project outputs, and 
will inform the AID Demonstration program 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.

VIII. Questions and Clarifications

    For further information concerning this final notice please contact 
Ms. Ewa

[[Page 9585]]

Flom, Program Manager, Center for Accelerating Innovation, (202) 366-
2169, or Ms. Seetha Srinivasan, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-
4099, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590. 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 will 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; 23 U.S.C. 503.

    Issued on: January 24, 2014.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2014-03452 Filed 2-18-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P