Technology & Innovation

A Convening on The Future of U.S. Infrastructure Innovation

07.26.22 | 2 min read

Background and Purpose

On July 26, 2022, MIT Mobility Initiative, MIT Washington Office, and The Engine hosted a workshop with leaders from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and infrastructure stakeholders — industry veterans, startup founders, federal, state and local policymakers and regulators, academics and investors.

The purpose of this convening was to engage a broad, diverse set of stakeholders in a series of ideation exercises to imagine what a set of ambitious advanced research programs could focus on to remake the future of American infrastructure. This read-out builds on a partnership FAS and the Day One Project have with the Department of Transportation to support solutions-based research and development. You can learn more about our work here.

The workshop consisted of two sessions. In the first working session, attendees discussed key challenges in infrastructure and possible research priority areas for ARPA-I. In the second half of the first session, participants were asked to come up with priority program areas that ARPA-I could focus on

During the second working session, participants considered the barriers that prevent the translation of breakthrough science and engineering into infrastructure reality, and opportunities for ARPA-I to smooth some of those frictions as an institution.

Resulting Recommendations

While some of the recommendations below may ultimately fall outside of ARPA-I’s mandate, or may require further Congressional authorization, they emphasize the need for ARPA-I to be strategically coordinating future deployment at scale even at the earliest stages of a project.

Deploying capital strategically

Establishing development and test infrastructure:

Catalyzing stakeholder collaboration: