VTI is at the forefront of international collaborations

International collaboration is essential to VTI’s position at the cutting edge of research, says Director-General Tomas Svensson.

Since the 1970s, Sweden has been a driving force and important player in road safety and transport research.

“The development of more crash-proof cars, innovations such as the three-point seatbelt, and the design of Vision Zero are just a few of the reasons why Sweden has a very good reputation in international transport and road safety research. VTI plays an important role in all this,” says Tomas Svensson.

International collaboration is essential to a research institute’s ability to remain a leader in its field. Among other things, it is important for knowledge transfer, competence development, opportunities for funding and the ability to quality-assure research. Tomas Svensson notes that the latter is crucial.

“International publication is central to ensuring the quality of research. It is also a way of working that we have been using for a long time, which basically ensures our ability to develop and deliver knowledge in order to achieve the national transport policy goals.

International research collaborations also provide greater payoff than if individual countries conduct research on their own,” he says. They also yield a variety of positive effects in the form of spin-offs and novel innovations. Tomas Svensson highlights the EU’s framework programme for transport research as one of the most important examples of collaboration.

“For one thing, it means stable funding. For Sweden and for VTI, it’s a very good basis for research in the transport sector. VTI has also led several major projects under the framework programme. The international collaborations, especially those conducted within the EU’s framework, have also become more important over time.”

“We’re dealing with issues that move rapidly across national borders. They’re global, and that also means increased research competition.”

What’s happening outside the EU is also important. For example, VTI has collaborations with both India and China and is represented in various global transport forums and international organisations.

“That’s very important. We’re involved in producing documentation and reports, we influence international policies and quickly gain new knowledge.”

Tomas Svensson believes that VTI has long been an internationally well-known player and that its own international conference RS5C (Road Safety on Five Continents), is now an important arena.

“It’s a world leader in its field – a conference that creates contacts and contributes to knowledge transfer, networks and collaborations. It has a considerable ripple effect and offers a very good window to the world.”

Text: Johan Granath/redakta

Translated by: Semantix AB