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2023 BABM: Submission Deadline Extended

Posted: 5/16/2023

Celebrating local ingenuity on a national level, Build a Better Mousetrap (BABM) is a federal initiative that recognizes state/local agencies that are using innovation to solve transportation-related problems to improve job safety and efficiency.

CALTAP and its partners at the Caltrans Division of Research, Innovation & System Information (DRISI) have brought BABM to California as part of our statewide innovation competition. 

Now through May 26th, agencies are encouraged to submit an application spotlighting a workplace innovation that is both locally relevant and has provided for an operating or safety-based efficiency. 

Check-out contest details here or contact us with any questions.



When applying, be prepared to provide:

  • Your Contact information.
  • A brief description of the problem you set out to solve, how you went about solving it, and how your solution provided long-term benefits to your department, agency, and/or the community.
  • A couple photos that illustrates your innovation and if possible, a short (3-4 minute) video presentation.

From the Build a Better Mousetrap 2023 website, click the  Submit an Innovation  button then register or login aa requested to gain access to the application form. Here you'll be met with a handful of prompts to capture your contact information, the details of your innovation, and any picture, video, or other relevant documentation uploads.

When your application is ready, click the  Submit Improvement  button, to alert staff that a new submission is available for review. You'll receive a confirmation email once the application has been accepted. You can return to this portal at any time to edit any part of your submission.



California’s statewide competition runs from March 13th through May 26th, 2023, with one winner from each of four categories selected to represent the state in FHWA’s national BABM contest. In addition, local winners receive a year of free LTAP-sponsored training, a permanent spotlight on our CALTAP website, and an opportunity to present before a live global audience during Caltrans Innovation Expo 2023.


The FHWA BABM Initiative

The Build a Better Mousetrap (BABM) national recognition program highlights locally relevant, innovative solutions and provides a platform to share innovations to everyday challenges that local and tribal transportation professionals encounter on local roads.

These local road solutions range from the development of new project delivery or design processes to the invention of new tools, equipment, or modifications that increase efficiency, enhance safety, reduce cost, and/or improve the quality of transportation on local roads. 

BABM 2023: How to Apply

1. Go to Build a Better Mousetrap 2023

2. Click the  Submit an Innovation  button

3. Register or login as requested

4. Complete each form prompt in detail

5. Upload a thumbnail, pictures, video, and any other relevant documents

6. Click the  Submit Improvement  button

7. Await confirmation email

8. Return any time to amend your application as needed

Need More Help?

California LTAP Center

Phone: (562) 985-2872