Maritime Innovative Science and Technology Integrated Action Team


The Maritime Innovative Science & Technology IAT (MIST IAT) provides the CMTS with a strategic capability to identify, coordinate, develop, and implement innovative science and technology initiatives and policies to address the pressing challenges identified in the National Strategy on the Marine Transportation System: Channeling the Maritime Advantage (2017).


A coordinated "Innovative science and technology" strategy will enable the nation to address marine transportation infrastructure challenges efficiently and effectively, meet increasing freight demand, promote safety and security of the MTS, and address the environmental impacts of the MTS.

Integrated Action Team Leads

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Maritime Administration
  • Environmental Protection Agency

Participating Agencies

  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Office of Naval Research
  • Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy
  • Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway Corporation
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
  • U.S. Maritime Administration
  • The Volpe Center


In Spring 2018, this IAT changed its name from the Research and Development (R&D) IAT to the Maritime Innovative Science & Technology (MIST) IAT to encompass broader science and technological advances to the marine transportation system (MTS). Over the course of its time, this IAT has organized seven biennial innovative science and technology conferences alongside the Transportation Research Board (TRB), bringing together academia, industry, and federal agencies to address opportunities and challenges within the MTS and highlight innovative science and technology solutions. The IAT provides strategic capabilities to the CMTS, educating and informing partner agencies through innovative webinars and workshops. Sponsored events have included round tables, presentations, and discussions on autonomous technology, maritime decarbonization efforts and engineering with nature.

Activities and Milestones

  • June 2023: Seventh biennial CMTS-TRB conference, “Innovative Science and Technologies Toward Greater Sustainability.” Summary found at:
  • March 2021: Sixth biennial R&D conference with TRB, "Advancing The Marine Transportation System through Automation and Autonomous Technologies: Trends, Applications and Challenges" and summary of recommendations at
  • March 2019: MIST IAT releases conference summary of the fifth biennial research and development conference, Transforming the Marine Transportation System Through Multimodal Freight Analytics.
  • April 2018: Renaming of R&D IAT to the Maritime Innovative Science and Technology (MIST) Integrated Action Team.
  • Completed: The IAT published an update to the 2011 R&D Strategy, CMTS Strategic Action Plan for Research and Development in June 2017.
  • Completed: The IAT co-hosted the June 2016 CMTS-TRB Conference From Sail to Satellite: Delivering Solutions for Tomorrow's MTS, which included over 80 technical presentations that covered a wide range of topics critical to the operation of the MTS; 3 panel sessions with noted academic, industry, and government panelists, discussing the future of the MTS; and 3 keynote speakers providing a vision for the MTS. New topics not traditionally seen as "maritime" (for example, big data) were addressed. CMTS Coordinating Board Chair VADM Brown opened the conference, and US Transportation Command Commander General McDew gave the keynote speech. There was also special coordination with the PIANC USA Young Professional group to include tours of the working waterfronts of Washington, DC and Baltimore. PIANC is The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure.
  • Completed: The R&D IAT launched the MTS performance measures website (Under MTS->performance->economic) in August 2015. Updates are ongoing. Performance measures research is part of an effort to develop an integrated freight network model that will allow for MTS analysis in the context of national supply chains and international freight flows.
  • Completed: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences and the CMTS R&D IAT co-sponsored the third biennial R&D Conference—Innovative Technologies for a Resilient Marine Transportation System – June 24-26, 2014, in Washington, DC. Click here to view 2014 Conference Proceedings
  • Completed: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences and the CMTS R&D IAT co-sponsored the second biennial R&D Conference—Diagnosing the Marine Transportation System: Measuring Performance and Targeting Improvement—June 26-28, 2012, in Washington, D.C. Click here to view 2012 Conference Proceedings Building from the recommendations of the 2012 joint conference with TRB on performance indicators, preliminary indicators with available data have been identified and released as part of an executive summary document, "Marine Transportation System Performance Measures."
  • Completed: The R&D IAT completed a gap analysis and an inventory of research programs.
  • Completed: The R&D IAT developed an implementation plan to address the priority objectives outlined in the Strategic Action Plan.
  • Completed: The Strategic Action Plan for Research and Development in the Marine Transportation System was approved at the December 15, 2010, Coordinating Board meeting.