Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Research & Innovation

Innovation strategy

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Innovation Program & Strategy

What is Innovation?

Innovation is the process of using critical and creative thinking to implement ideas that create valued outcomes.

Innovation at MnDOT

We are already innovating (in big and small ways) on a daily basis—from making our transportation systems safer and more accessible to developing solutions to save taxpayer dollars.

MnDOT intends to advance its capacity as a national leader in transportation by developing an innovation program and strategy that further supports and promotes innovation throughout the agency.

Organizational Structure

  • Innovation Project Management Team: Research & Innovation staff responsible for development and deployment of the innovation strategy.
  • Technical Advisory Panel: A diverse group from across the agency to provide guidance to the Innovation Project Management Team, spread innovation, and support culture change. Initially formed as a short-term group but may transition into an ongoing group.
  • Senior Leadership Team: Leaders who set the strategy for innovative programs, services, projects, initiatives, and culture for the department.
  • Innovation Community of Practice: All employees can join. The Innovation Community of Practice works to advance, support, and model organizations innovation and improvement.

MnDOT's Innovation Strategy

In a world of rapidly changing needs, government must operate effectively and efficiently to deliver today’s services and plan for tomorrow.

Government agencies are facing dwindling budgets, increased citizen expectations, and morphing societal needs. In response, leaders are increasingly seeing innovation as a mindset and process to help solve challenging problems and improve the lives of the people they serve.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is not immune from such challenges and in 2020 began the deliberative process of developing an innovation strategy to help the agency solve its greatest challenges and more effectively and efficiently deliver transportation services.

The innovation strategy outlined in this report provides an actionable roadmap for fostering and sustaining a culture of innovation. This will lead to novel and sustainable products, processes, and practices that further MnDOT’s reputation as a national transportation leader.

MnDOT's Innovation Strategy (PDF)

Innovations During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic, on top of social unrest and climate events, presented new and unprecedented challenges, and MnDOT staff stepped up to address these challenges head on with passion, ingenuity, and a commitment to public service.

Innovations During COVID-19 Report (PDF)

Innovation Focus Newsletter

A quarterly newsletter highlighting innovative staff and projects, providing innovation resources, and offering updates to MnDOT's innovation strategy.