Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Office of Research & Innovation

About the Transportation Research Innovation Group (TRIG)

bridge in the distance

What is TRIG?

TRIG members at a meeting in December 2012

The Transportation Research and Innovation Group (TRIG) is the governing board for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) State Research Program. TRIG is composed of 14 voting members, 2 non-voting members, and MnDOT Research Services support staff. Voting members represent 10 specialty offices and 4 districts within Minnesota.

Orientation Guide for TRIG Members (PDF, 1.6 MB, 53 pages)

Roles and Responsibilities

TRIG members are responsible for actively participating in and support MnDOT's state and federal research programs. Through organization, direct researcher and practitioner collaboration, and information sharing, the TRIG body directly affects the efficacy of transportation research in Minnesota.

The TRIG body meets three times per year and during these meetings reviews and selects new research proposals and implementation proposals. Future and past research is highlighted for review, and is prepared for future meetings. TRIG members follow important key steps to ensure that research, from proposal to implementation, is conducted with full support between researchers and the state and federal bodies.


TRIG members help to allocate some of the $10 million that MnDOT administers to transportation research annually. Funding programs that the TRIG utilize include the following:

  • Federal Highway Administration State Planning and Research (SP&R) funds
  • MnDOT's State Research Program (SRP)
  • Cost share with the Local Road Research Board (LRRB)
  • Various other funding sources

Research is conducted to address transportation issues within multiple disciplines and topic areas including: Materials and Construction; Planning and Policy; Traffic and Safety; Environmental; Maintenance Operations; Bridges and Structures, and Multimodal. Funding allocations to these topic areas varies from year to year, depending on state, national, and local needs and priorities.