Build a Better Mousetrap Competition

2020 Competition – Deadline Extended to June 12, 2020

Have you or one of your co-workers recently built an innovative gadget or developed an improved way to do a job?  Well, now is the time to show off a project your agency is proud of in the Delaware Build a Better Mousetrap Competition!

The Delaware T2/LTAP Center is looking for transportation-related projects that you, your employees, or crew designed and built; it can be anything from the development of tools, equipment modifications, and/or processes that increase safety, reduce cost, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of transportation.  Need some examples?  See past annual catalogs from the national competition; you’ll see descriptions, photos, and even videos of entries from across the nation; not just the winners.

Submit entries to us here at the Delaware T2/LTAP Center, where we will pick a state winner.  First prize will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card. All public agency submittals are eligible for the state competition, including state, county, and local agencies.  Our state competition is simple – we are open to all ideas, all innovations, from all public agencies.

This year, you should also think about how you have creatively responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  How have you innovated your operations to better protect your employees and/or the public while maintaining high productivity?

Unfortunately, the Center for Local Aid Support will not recognize state agency submittals, so the winning local agency (municipality, town, city, township, or county) entry from Delaware will be automatically submitted into a national competition where both you and we here at the Center will compete for prizes, and more importantly, bragging rights!  Winners will be announced at the annual LTAP/TTAP National Conference in Seattle, Washington (July 2020).  All entries will be compiled into an electronic booklet that will be distributed nationwide, similar to the ones in the link above.

Sometimes, the application alone won’t tell the story very well, so (at least two) photographs are required by the national competition and you can also submit (not required) a short video clip (or link to YouTube, etc.) that shows what you created, narrated a bit to add some color to it.  Get creative on that front.

So you know a little more about how national winners will be categorized and judged, we will be asked to submit nominations to the Build a Better Mousetrap under one of four categories (we will take care of this part for you):

  • Innovative Project Award – This category celebrates a local agency or tribe that implemented a new technology or design in construction. The innovation enhances the quality, timeliness, cost effectiveness, safety, environmental benefit and/or efficiency of the highway project.
  • Bold Steps Award – This category recognizes a local or tribal agency that embraced forward thinking in the development and implementation of an innovative practices that improves or streamlines transportation related processes. The innovative change should show improvement in performance, management and efficiency. This award could include advancements in areas of program and project management, finance, safety, mobility, sustainability, and maintenance.
  • Smart Transformation Award– This category celebrates development and deployment of solutions that improve field data capture, data analysis, automation and real-time collection, and/or implementation of smart infrastructure. This award category is not intended for the implementation of “off the shelf” products or customizable solutions that are available in the market and/or provided by a specific vendor.
  • Pioneer Award – This category recognizes agency inventors that develop new tools and equipment that provide a better way to do a job or advance road maintenance and construction. Implemented tools and methods should be an original design or creative adaptation that results in significant advancement, rather than the result of natural evolution of existing methods, common sense or good practice. Entries should demonstrate genuine change and innovation that can impact the wider transportation community.

The national competition will select a winner using the following criteria:

  • Recognized importance/ impact
  • Originality
  • Applicability to others
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Time savings
  • Agency or community benefit
  • Overall quality of the application
  • Entries with a Spotlight Video will receive bonus points!

But don’t worry too much about all that – just submit your great ideas!  To enter, complete the attached entry form and the photograph/video release form, and return it to us by June 12, 2020.  Please email the materials to Sandra Wolfe (sandiw@udel.edu).

Don’t be shy – we know there have been some great innovations in Delaware and we look forward to reviewing all of your fantastic entries!

Questions?  Email us.

Print Application Form
Print Release Form 
See sample application here.
Print a Pdf of this announcement.

2019 Competition

Congratulations to the 2019 winners of the Delaware T2/LTAP Build a Better Mousetrap Competition!
First Place winner of a $100 Visa Gift Card and mousetrap trophy goes to Jason Winterling from the City of Newark for his entry on the Street Sweeper to Flatbed/Salt Brine Truck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place winner of a $50  Visa Gift Card and certificate goes to David Holland from the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) for his entry on the Salt Spreader Cleaning Manifold.
Watch David’s video on the purpose and functionality of the multi-nozzle manifold here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Entries will be posted on the LTAP/TTAP program website and compiled into an electronic booklet that will be distributed nationwide.

2019 Competition

2018 Competition

2015 Competition