DOT to Call for Innovative Research Proposals from Small Businesses. On Dec. 10, the Research and Innovative Technology Administration/John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center released the first FY 2013 solicitation for businesses interested in conducting research for the Department through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The Department is requesting proposals for research into 1) the development of systems that will detect low ground clearance vehicles and warn motorists they are approaching a high-profile grade crossing; 2) innovations in transit safety to include improved passenger, vehicle and road/track safety; and 3) improved decision support tools to help transit agencies keep their systems in good repair and strengthen transit infrastructure. Interested small businesses should submit research proposals no later than March 4, 2013. The solicitation is available online at http://www.volpe.dot.gov/sbir. Contact Nancy Wilochka: (202) 366-5128.