– The international exchange of researchers is crucial if we are to follow and take part in the development of knowledge in other parts of the world, build new networks and assure the quality of our own research. In China and Southeast Asia there is an incredibly fast development of new, exciting research in many areas. VTI will obviously make connections and initiate collaborations also in these parts of the world, says Jonas Bjelfvenstam, director general at VTI.
During and after the road safety conference, Road Safety on Four Continents, held in Beijing from May 15 to 17, relationships developed that were so successful that several MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) were signed between VTI, by Jonas Bjelfvenstam, director general of VTI, and representatives from various organizations in China and South Korea.
China has built a simulator of a type similar to those found at VTI. The experience built up at VTI will be shared with other countries who want to develop and improve road safety. In addition, countries must complement each other in terms of testing in simulators.
VTI has signed an agreement for future collaboration with the Research Institute of Highway (RIOH), Ministry of Transport, Beijing. Cooperation between China and VTI is new and will mean closer collaboration in the field of simulation mainly focusing on HMI (human-machine interaction).
In South Korea, VTI has now signed MoU with the Korea Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA) and the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI). KOTSA is a general transport safety authority that also includes vehicle inspection and vehicle research. KOTI is a governmental research institute which includes working to create an optimal sustainable transport through specialized research and technical innovation. An agreement on cooperation in transport research and especially safety was signed at a bilateral seminar with VTI and Korean organizations on May 20.
Road Safety on Four Continents was organized for the 16th time and the conference has taken place in different countries every few years. Sweden has a tradition of working successfully with road safety issues, and the interest in the VTI road safety conference just keeps growing.
– Our traditional focus on European collaborations makes sense, but if we want to be a prominent research institution in a global context, we must also have collaborations outside Europe. China and South Korea are key as emerging, important research nations, says Jonas Bjelfvenstam.
At the conference in China, there were nearly 150 participants, consisting of researchers, policy makers and other representatives from agencies and organizations working in the field of road safety.
The interest in road safety in Asia is huge and China has grown into one of the world’s largest automotive markets which has led to a great interest in road safety issues. Sweden has a long experience in safety and with VTI’s knowledge and experience, a collaboration seemed like a natural step.
The conference was organized by VTI with Ministry Of Transport China, and was hosted and supported by GRSP (Global Road Safety Partnership), TRB (Transportation Research Board), FERSI (Forum of European Road Safety Research Institutes) and ECTRI (European Conference of Transport Research Institute).
VTI, Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, är ett oberoende och internationellt framstående forskningsinstitut inom transportsektorn. Huvuduppgiften är att bedriva forskning och utveckling kring infrastruktur, trafik och transporter. Verksamheten omfattar samtliga transportslag. VTI har omkring 200 medarbetare och finns i Linköping (huvudkontor), Stockholm, Göteborg och Borlänge.