Development of Research Strategy

TII’s Statement of Strategy describes the mission, strategic goals, objectives and output of TII, along with the business environment in which these are carried out.

The primary function of TII is to provide an integrated approach to the future development and operation of the National Road network (under the terms of the Roads Act 1993 to 2015) and to secure the provision of a safe and efficient network Light Rail system in Dublin (working in partnership with the National Transport Authority). For this purpose, we have overall responsibility for planning and supervision of construction and maintenance works on these road and light rail systems. The remit of TII includes any training, research and testing activities necessary for the execution of its functions, which include project planning, construction, maintenance and operations.

TII recognises the value of research and the important role it plays to help us achieve our strategic objectives. Accordingly, we have put in place a Research Strategy to ensure that all our research activities are carried out in a coordinated way. The aim of this Research Strategy is to promote practical measures that will contribute to cost reducing and/or quality enhancing innovation in regard to TII’s functions. This initiative is being managed by a dedicated Research Manager whose function it is to coordinate all the research activities across the different technical areas associated with road infrastructure.

The following pages present the principles behind the TII Research Strategy, which provides the framework for the procurement of both short-term “commercial” research in response to the business needs of TII, as well as for longer-term research projects at PhD and post-doctoral level (see Research Fellowship Programme). This longer-term research is vital as national road infrastructure is a valuable asset with a very long service live. Effective management requires looking well ahead at potential advancements in order to anticipate and exploit technological developments in good time.

The Research Programme is developed on an annual basis in line with the strategy outlined and in response to current research needs as identified by individual TII staff members and other stakeholders. This annual Research Programme will reflect changes in priorities and new areas of interest. A key element of the Research Programme will be an implementation plan to ensure that the research results are

For further information on research activities at TII, contact Albert Daly, Head of Research and Standards at Albert.Daly@tii.ie

 

Mission Statement

TII's mission is to provide high quality transport infrastructure and services, delivering a better quality of life and supporting economic growth. TII brings together two organisations to provide high quality transport infrastructure and services, supporting better quality of life and economic growth. TII combines the expertise and proven track records of the organisations which have delivered the Luas and the national motorway network.

TII's operations are based on a number of national and regional transport policies and strategies which set the context in which we deliver our services and which frame our strategic objectives and actions. Our Statement of Strategy which can be downloaded here defines our strategic objectives in the following terms:

  • Safer road and light rail networks
  • Maintain the asset value of the national road and light rail networks
  • More resilient national road and light rail networks
  • Less congested road and light rail networks
  • More accessible road and light rail networks
  • More sustainable road and light rail networks
  • Financially sustainable commercial operations

These objectives provide the background which underpins the research programme of TII. They also provide the parameters within which individual research projects are identified and evaluated.

The benefits of research

The benefits of research to TII include the following:
 
  • It provides an effective mechanism for maintaining up-to-date standards and specifications;
  • It enables procedures to be developed for the efficient and cost-effective management of a very valuable national asset;
  • It ensures that state-of-art materials and methods are identified and used;
  • It facilitates the professional development of TII staff and helps them to stay abreast of current advances in science and technology.

Formal research is one of the key ways in which TII can inform operational policy and set standards. It is vital that a well-founded research strategy is in place with clear objectives and effective dissemination.

Objectives

The over-riding aim of the Research Programme is to enable TII to carry out its mandate of providing and operating the national road system in a more efficient and effective way. The particular objectives are devised in line with the high-level strategic goals of TII. Emphasis is placed on what is likely to be TII’s need, ensuring that state-of-the-art techniques are used, filling knowledge gaps where they exist, and implementing the research conclusions in a timely and effective way. The Research Programme will cover the general areas of expertise of TII including planning, construction, maintenance and operations.

TII staff members who have a need for, or an interest in, research activities will contribute to this on-going strategy by identifying the key priorities areas of research. They will assist in developing the particular research topics included in the annual programme.

The research commissioned by TII will generally focus on short-term goals driven by current business plan targets, but it is important that the longer-term fundamental research is not neglected. The opportunity will be taken to engage with stakeholders, allowing them to shape the Research Programme at an early stage of the Research Programme cycle. This will enable TII to respond to current needs. The research outputs will be used:

  • To provide and/or improve standards, specifications and procedures
  • To identify and encourage innovation
  • To assist in the professional development of staff.

The need for research

To ensure the success of TII in carrying out its strategic objectives se objectives, it is vital that a research strategy is put in place so that state-of-the-art materials, techniques and procedures are used and implemented to create a modern, efficient infrastructure. The world is constantly changing: not only are developments in science and technology occurring very rapidly, the demands placed on the national road infrastructure are continuously being modified in response to the changing needs and preferences of the travelling public and business. As a major client, TII must be able to plan and procure national road development projects in a way that encourages innovation. It must be able to engage designers and contractors, and assess and challenge engineering solutions from a knowledgeable standpoint, understanding both the technical detail and the economic, environmental and social implications. There is therefore a real need to invest in research and development so that the infrastructure is able to meet current and future requirements to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.