The over-riding aim of the Research Programme is to enable the NRA 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 the high-level strategic goals of the Authority. Emphasis is placed on what is likely to be the NRA’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 the Authority including planning, construction, maintenance and operations.
NRA 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 the Authority 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 the NRA 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.