Initiative Versus Project


MTTI is interested in funding the development of exploratory projects and larger initiatives that increase the overall research funding coming to MTTI members. It is not the place of MTTI to fund projects or initiatives simply for the intellectual output that they produce, but rather to provide seed money to move forward key activities that unlock a larger pool of resources.

Seed Funding Project

Up to $10,000.

Exploratory projects can be partially supported several ways through MTTI. In all cases these projects result in a deliverable that produces a chance at a return on the investment that MTTI made.

For example, a MTTI member may request funds to match funds that they have to perform exploratory research that will provide a better chance at creating a successful research proposal. In this example, MTTI is not interested in funding the exploratory research for its intellectual value, but rather for the potential research areas that a proposal based on this exploration will bring. Projects are expected to have a defined set of deliverables and outcomes that will be provided when the activity is complete. Those deliverables should relate to future proposal activity enabled by MTTI seed funding. Projects are of a defined term and the payback for MTTI to be involved in them is primarily through enhanced probability of successfully funded research projects and their associated overhead return.

Major Initiatives

Up to $60,000.

Initiatives are larger, often highly-collaborative activities that generate self-perpetuating resources in the form of long-term external project funding or other resources, and that may lead to stable programs or centers that provide for the common good of many MTTI members.

MTTI’s investment in initiatives should be used as a means to capture outside resources. MTTI members who apply for initiatives should be able to demonstrate external commitment outside of MTTI and should be able to show how the activity proposed will be supported after MTTI’s investment is expended. They should also include a budget that outlines the cost of the proposed activities and their expected progress toward self-perpetuation of the initiative. An initiative is not a group of projects, but rather a self-perpetuating resource in support of MTTI’s vision and mission statement.

As an example, a MTTI member may propose to secure a post-doctorate fellow or other professional staff member to help create a Center for Intelligent Transportation Research. In this example, the post doc and the MTTI member would be responsible for accomplishing activities with the initiative funding that lead to long-term support, such as creating a portfolio and presentations, workshops to build new collaborations, as well as travel to sponsor locations to garner support in the form of industry donations or projects for the center. The MTTI member proposing an initiative needs to show how the MTTI investment will be successful in perpetuating long-term funding and intellectual activities as well as show that there exist sources or funds available to complement this activity.