Build a Better Mousetrap Innovation Competition

Build a Better Mousetrap info video

Did you or your team build an innovative gadget, improved how you do a certain job or task, or otherwise implemented a change that had positive impact to your workplace or community?   Did you solve a challenge or frustration with ingenuity?   Your innovative success can be anything from the development of tools, equipment modifications, and/or processes that increase safety, reduce cost, improve efficiency, or improve the quality of transportation by completing projects and roadway maintenance tasksmore effciently and effectively.   

The competition is an excellent way for innovative ideas to be exchanged with others that may benefit from different concepts and perspectives.  It is also a great way for local transportation professionals and other LTAP customers to get some well-earned recognition for their hard work.

We are looking to collect and disseminate real world examples of best practices, tips from the field, and to assist in the transfer of technology.  We invite non-proprietary submissions from local agencies year-round!

Need inspiration? Want more information or details?  - The winning entries of the 2020 National Build A Better Mousetrap competition can be reviewed on FHWA's Center for Local Aid Support (CLAS) website, as can further program requirements, criteria, and information- or please reach out to!

Build a Better Mousetrap Competition is your opportunity to share the creativity that we’re proud of in your teams, to help others!

We’re excited about this year’s updated prizes!!  Submit by 6/1/2021 to be eligible!

One NH local road agency individual and/or team whose innovation is selected to represent NH in the FHWA’s national Build a Better Mousetrap program will receive its choice of one of the following:

• APWA membership for up to 2 people (for "new" members that have not had APWA membership previously)

• Heavy equipment training & lunch for 4 from UNH T2

• 4 free UNH T2 workshop seats (up to $400 value) plus 4 APWA First Responder camp chairs

Runners-up who are also selected to submit an innovation to the national program will receive four free workshop seats to a paid workshop (up to $400 value) from UNH T2 for future use. 

Entries will be judged on various criteria, including cost savings, benefits to the community and/or team, ingenuity, transferability, and effectiveness.   Suitable entries could come from the following categories, as examples: We encourage you to also submit photos and short video clips showcasing your project.  Entries must be received by June 13, 2021 to be considered for the national competition, but we welcome submissions at any time!

  • Innovative Project– Any solution that addresses any or all phase(s) of the ‘project’ life cycle – Planning, Design/Engineering, Construction, Operations and Maintenance. This project shall introduce new ideas, is locally relevant, original, and creative in thinking.
  • Bold Steps– Any locally relevant high-risk project or process showing a break-through solution with demonstrated high-reward.
  • Smart Transformation– A locally relevant significant change in any transportation activity or process that is SMART “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound” in nature that results in improved efficiencies.
  • Pioneer– A locally relevant product/tool that is among the first to solve a maintenance problem with a home-grown solution.


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Submissions to the national competition will require two photos to be included. It's highly recommend to include photos or short, informal video clips "showing" your innovation where possible during this stage, but if your innovation is chosen to submit to FHWA for the national competition, we can also gather those documents then. If you'd like to share photos or a short video highlighting your submission now, please load those files now, or contact to arrange to send the files.
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