Build a Better Mousetrap Competition

Otter Claw
 "Otter Claw" 2023 first place winner

The Minnesota Build a Better Mousetrap Competition recognizes local transportation innovations by highlighting homegrown ideas, innovative gadgets, equipment modifications, and safety improvements. Show off your creativity and help other agencies solve problems by submitting your local innovations!

Minnesota Mousetrap awards will be given in two categories:

  • Minnesota Pioneer Award—A locally relevant product/tool that is among the first to solve a maintenance problem with a homegrown solution.
  • Minnesota Smart Transformation Award—A locally relevant significant change in any transportation activity or process that is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) and results in improved efficiencies.

The competition is open to all local transportation agencies—county, city, township, and tribal—in Minnesota. It is sponsored by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board and administered by Minnesota LTAP.

Submission Criteria and Recognition

Entries will be judged using the criteria of cost savings, benefits to the community and/or agency, ingenuity, transferability to others, and effectiveness. Local OPERA Program projects that meet these criteria are eligible to be included in the competition.

We'll pick a winner in each award category; both will be recognized in the Minnesota LTAP Exchange newsletter and receive a prize.

All entries and OPERA projects will be automatically submitted to the national recognition program, where you'll compete for more fantastic prizes—and bragging rights! Winners will be announced at the annual LTAP/TTAP National Conference.

Previous Winners

Browse innovations from previous Minnesota Mousetrap awardees.

National Recognition Program

The Build a Better Mousetrap National Recognition Program highlights innovative solutions to everyday problems and issues that local and tribal transportation workers encounter. They can range from the development of tools or equipment modifications to processes that increase safety, reduce cost, and improve efficiency and the overall quality of transportation.

For more information: