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Highway research and technology transfer structures and mechanisms in Sweden.


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Nr 185 - 1992


Tord Lindahl

September 13-17, 1992

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Structures and Mechanisms in Sw

Paper presented at the conference

ghway Research and Technology Transfer



VTI särtryck

Nr 185 - 1992

Highway Research and Technology Transfer

Structures and Mechanisms in Sweden

Tord Lindahl

Paper presented at the conference Transportation A

key ta Canadian competitiveness Quebec City,

September 13-17, 1992



v: Väg-och


Road Division 1992 09 28 1

T Lindahl/MD

Highway Research and Technology Transfer Structures and Mechanisms in Sweden

by Tord Lindahl

Research Director

The Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute Abstract

The presentation starts with a brief overview about Sweden and Swedish roads. After that Swedish Road Research is presented including the relations between The Road and Traffic Research Institute (VTI), The Swedish Government and the National Road Administration. The role of Standards and Specifications is

described as well as the new development of European Standards and what this means for us in Sweden. The cooperation between the public and private sector in the field of Road Research and the new

development in Europe regarding cooperation between Highway Research Laboratories is also described. The paper ends with a description

about the new development of so called functional contracts in Sweden and what this type of contracts means for research and development and for technology transfer.


Sweden with a land area of about 450,000 square km is one of the largest countries in Europe, about the size of France or Spain or California in the US.

Sweden is situated in the north of Europe, but because of the Gulf Stream coming from the Atlantic, the climate is rather mild. There is snow in the winter even in the southern part of the country but

the summers are warm.

Two of the main industries in Sweden are Volvo and Saab Scania, the

automotive industries. 90 % of the cars they produce are sold abroad. Saab Scania also manufactures airplanes, both sofisticated military airplanes and civilian airplanes.

Swedish Roads

The total length of Swedish roads is about 400,000 km. Of this the

Swedish Road Administration is responsible for about 100,000 km while the Swedish cities are responsible for about 40,000 km. The remaining part of the road network consists of smaller, privately

owned roads, farm roads and roads in the forests.

Statens väg- och trafikinstitut

Swedish Road and Traf c Research Institute

postadress gatuadress telefon telefax telex

posta/ address off/ce address te/ephone te/efax telex

8-58101 Lunkopmg Olaus Magnus väg 37 natOl3 20 4000 nat013-14l436 50125



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Road Division 1992-09 28 2

T Lindahl/MD

We have about 1000 km of motorways in Sweden and at the moment, we

are constructing a lot of new motorways. The reason for this is of course the demands from the growing traffic but also our deep re

cession. The Swedish Government spends two to three times the normal

money this year on highway investments in order to get unemployed out into work. I think that investments in new roads is a good way to get the country running again.

VTI, The Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute

VTI is situated in the city of Linköping, about 200 km south of


VTI is a research Institute under the Ministry of Transport. It started in 1971 as a fusion between the old Road Research Institute and Traffic Safety Research. The main assignment for the institute is applied research. Our total turnover was in 1991 122 million Swe dish crowns which is about 25 million Canadian dollars. Of this we got 47 million as finance grants directly from the Ministry of Transport while the remaining part, 75 million is commisioned re search. The total staff of the institute is 210 persons.

The different competence we cover at VTI is: Highway Engineering

Vehicle Engineering Traffic Engineering Road User Behaviour Biomechanics Ergonomics and Traffic Economics >+ >+ >( * * * > !

-The research at VTI is devided in 4 divisions, the Road Division, the Road User and Vehicle Division, the Traffic Division and the

Rail Transport Division. At the moment there is work going on at the institute with the purpose to change the organisation. The research work will be performed by smaller research groups while the research directors will form a group for long term strategic planning and marketing of the research. This group will also order research from the research groups. The new organisation is planned to start on July 1, 1993.

Back to the economical situation at the Institute. 39 % of the turn-over comes as grants from the ministry of transport. Of the remai ning part is 39 % public contracts, 19 % private contracts and 3 % foreign contracts. This means that the institute has to compete with Universities and Consultants to get these 61 % as commissioned re


Statens väg och trafikinstitut

Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute postadress

posta/ address S 581 01 Lankoplng Sweden

gatuadress telefon telefax telex

off/ce address te/ephone telefax te/ex

Olaus Magnus väg 37 natOl3-20 40 00 natOlB-l4l4 36 50125 int+4613204000 int+461314l436 VTISGIS



Road Division 1992 09 28 3 T Lindahl/MD

The largest part of the commissioned research comes from the Natio nal Road Administration, 27 million Swedish crowns last year. Of this the Road Division gets about 15 million for highway research.

(A few slides was shown to present the research at the Road Divi sion.)

A main road problem in Sweden is rutting caused by studded tires. At VTI there is a road surface testing machine in which we are testing different types of asphalt mixes and cement concrete. The purpose is to develop surface layers which can resist the wear from studded

tires. In about three weeks we can get results from the machine

which should have taken 4 5 winter periods to get from studies out on the roads.

In the asphalt laboratory research is carried out concerning the risks for fatigue cracks in different asphalt mixes.

VTI has developed a Falling Weight Deflectometer to be able to investigate bearing capacity in different pavement structures. We are also working with background projects for new pavement design


The RST, Road Surface Tester, which has lasers in the front is used to measure ruts, cracks and unevness on all Swedish roads. This year we also have measured the German Autobahn (motorways) net with the RST.

VTI and the National Swedish Road Administration

VTI has together with the National Road Administration developed a 5

year research plan. The plan is the base for 12 large research pro

jects with which we have contracts with the Road Administration.

Each year we check how close we follow the detailed planning in the contracts and make necessary ajustments.

The main purpose of the research for the Road Administration is to form the background for the standards and specifications in the field of road construction and maintenance in Sweden. This is the main way we get our research results implemented and used in constructing and maintaining roads.

The role of Standards and Specifications in Sweden

Standards and specifications which direct construction of roads is included in the report "Instructions for Road construction" from the National Road Administration. This report has been revised during

Statens väg- och trafikinstitut

Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute

postadress gatuadress telefon telefax telex

postal address off/ce address te/ephone telefax telex

8 58101 Lunköplng Olaus Magnus väg 37 natOlB-ZO 4000 nat013-14 14 36 50125




vi: Väg-och


Road Division 1992 09 28 4 T Lindahl/MD

1991 and 1992 and a new version will be published in early 1993. The most important reason for the revision of the Instructions is re

sults coming from the research VTI has performed on contract for the

Road Administration during the last years as part of the 5 year re-search plan. Rere-searchers from VTI have also written parts of the new Instructions.

In the same way standards and specifications for rebuilding and maintenance of roads are part of another report "Instructions for

rebuilding and maintenance of roads". The background for this report

is also to a great extent R and D performed at VTI. This means that

the most important way to implement research findings is to include them in new Standards and Specifications.

New European Standards and Specifications

During the later part of the nineteen nineties there will be a large change in the Swedish Standards and Specifications for constructing and maintaining roads. The reason for this is the development of the new GEN standards in Europe.

CEN means Committee European de Normalisation and is the European organisation for standardisation. Three years ago the different

European governments told CEN to work out common European standards

for a lot of products and materials. A part of this is the subject "materials for constructing and maintaining roads". In return the European governments promised to introduce the new standards within a year from the time the Standard was approved by CEN. This means that the Road Administrations in all European countries are obliged to introduce all new standards for road materials, coming out from

CEN and they have only one year to do so.

The reason for this decision by the European countries is the new free trade market which starts in Europe the first of January 1993.

CEN is a little late with the work in the road materials area but

they hope that much of the new standards shall be finished in late

1993 and 1994.

Sweden is represented in many of the technical committees and

working groups CEN has established in the road materials area. Some of these committee members are researchers coming from VTI.

The importance of this is rather large changes in the standards and

laboratory methods that we use in Sweden today. The research at VTI

in the road material area has to change due to the development of the new European standards and specifications.

Statens väg- och trafikinstitut

Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute postadress

posta/ address S-58101Linköplng Sweden

gatuadress telefon telefax telex

off/ce address telephone telefax telex

Olaus Magnus väg 37 natOlB-ZO 40 00 nat013-14l4 36 50125 int+4613204000 int+461314l436 VTISGIS




iii i

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Road Division

T Lindahl/MD 1992 09 28 5 Much of our research and development has to be directed towards the new CEN-standards, which means more of end result standards than the

standards we use today. Some of the new laboratory methods that CEN will accept comes from recent development at VTI and this of course is a good reference for Swedish road research.

Public/private sector cooperation

In Sweden, the large road contractors like Skanska and NCC, Nordic Construction Company, have their own road laboratories where they performe R and D projects.

For instance, many of the new developments in the field of asphalt

pavements have come from the road contractors.

The contractors have their own R and D-fund from which they can get money for performing R and D projects.

In some cases VTI is participating in R- and D-projects together with road contractors with funding from both VTI, the Road Administ

ration and the contractors. The researchers from VTI assure that the

project is performed with high research quality, while the partici pants from the contractors and the Road Administration have know ledge about production. Those R and D projects in cooperation also assure that the results are implemented as fast as possible. The

results are also tested under real production circumstances. Other advantages are that the researchers from VTI learn about production

while people from the Road Administration and the contractors learn how research must be performed if the results shall get a high qua lity level.

The Swedish contractors' R and D fund has about 30 million Swedish crowns to spend on research projects each year. Of this 1/3 or about 10 million goes into road projects.

One example of projects where VTI, the Road Administration and the

contractors have been working together is a R and D project about how to strengthen the pavement on old worn out roads. The contrac

tors developed different methods for the strengthening and tested both machine and new materials in full scale production. The resear chers from VTI performed laboratory tests with different new materi

als, suggested what materials that should be used and are also

following up the test sections to check the performance of different new methods and materials.

Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories

In 1989 the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL) was established for EC and EFTA countries.

Statens väg- och trafikinstitut

Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute postadress postal address S 58l 01 Linköping Sweden gatuadress off/ce address Olaus Magnus väg 37

telefon telefax telex

telephone telefax telex

natOlS-ZO 4000 natOl3-l4 14 36 50125 int+4613204000 int+461314l436 VTISGIS




Vi Väg-och


Road Division 1992 09 28 6

T Lindahl/MD

The purpose of EEHRL is to encourage collaboration between European

national Highway Research Laboratories and Institutes in the field of highway engineering infrastructure so as to provide relevant

knowledge to European Governments, the European Commission, the road

industry and road users.

Collaboration between such laboratories, mainly government funded, will ensure the efficient provision of advice in a cost effective and timely manner. It will reduce duplication of effort and lead to a proper integration of European research resources, whilst at the same time permitting a measure of productive competition.

The objectives of collaborative research are aimed towards: * Providing input to European policy on highway matters

* Increasing the competitiveness of European highway industries * Ensuring an efficient and safe road network in Europe

* Protecting the environment from road-related pollution * Improving energy saving in the road sector

The means to be used include: * Identification of research needs

* Exchange of information on research and its implementation

* Undertaking collaborative, multisectorial, research projects (in

cluding research contracts for EC or other agencies). Maximum ad

vantage will be taken of the special (expensive) research facili ties

* Contributing to the development of European standards

* Stimulating innovation in the European highway industry

* Exchange of staff

Organisation and membership:

The collaboration will take place between national Laboratories/In stitutes in European countries that are professionally engaged at an international level in highway infrastructure matters. The Forum will initially have a Secretariat at TRL in England. The Chairman ship will rotate to follow the host country of each meeting. The Forum will meet regularly and at least once a year.

Statens väg- och trafikinstitut

Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute postadress

posta/ address 8-58101 Linköping Sweden

gatuadress telefon telefax telex

off/ce address telephone telefax te/ex

Olaus Magnus väg 37 natOl3-20 40 00 nat013-14l436 50125 int+4613204000 int+461314l436 VTISGlS


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Road Division 1992 09 28 7

T Lindahl/MD

A working group within FEHRL has come up with an extensive 3 year program for European collaborative research, SERRP (Strategic Euro pean Road Research Program). SERRP has been included in EURET II, a research program at the EC Commission. The total planned cost for SERRP is about 400 million Swedish crowns for the three year period 1995 1997 (about 90 million Canadian dollars). A decision about fi-nancing the research program is expected in late 1994 or in the be-ginning of 1995. In the meantime, FEHRL has decided to start 3 of the 15 projects included in SERRP in advance with money from the participating institutes themselves.

The meaning for VTI of this collaboration is that we in the future will participate in several of the SERRP projects. This is of course very interesting and we can learn a lot from each other but it also means that researchers from VTI will be compared with researchers from other European countries. It is very important for us to show that we have a high quality in our research in this comparison. The guarantee/warrantee system.used in Sweden

In Sweden we use a guarantee/warrantee system in general road con tracts which has been used for many years. The contractor guarantees

for 2, 3 or 5 years that the work he has done in constructing the road is properly performed. If the representative from the Road Ad-ministration can prove that some part of the road has too low

quality at the end of the guarantee period due to mistakes in the production of the road, the contractor has to rebuild the road to get the promised quality. This warrantee system has beeen used in

Sweden for many years and both the contractors and the Road

Administration think that it works very well.

Functional contracts

A new type of contract has begun to get into use in Sweden during the last years, the so called Functional Contracts. The meaning of

this is that the contractor is responsible for both designing and constructing the road. After the traffic has started, the contractor guarantees the function of the road for five to seven years. If maintenance is needed, he is also responsible for performing the maintenance. What the contractor has guaranteed is that there is no rutting, cracks or unevness on the road surface and that the fric tion also is above a certain level. This is the functional proper ties of the road.

The first tests with functional contracts started about ten years

ago and fore several years there were only occasional contracts of this type. The last two years however, several new functional con

Statens väg och trafikinstitut

Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute postadress

posta/ address S-58101Linköplng Sweden

gatuadress telefon telefax telex

off/ce address te/ephone te/efax te/ex

Olaus Magnus väg 37 nat013-204000 nat013-l4l436 50125 mt+4613204000 int+461314l436 VTISGIS





Väg-ochfrank-Institutet Road Division T Lindahl/MD 1992-09-28

tracts has been started in Sweden. For instance, in August this year the big Swedish contractor Skanska got a functional contract to de sign, construct and maintain 15 km new motorway between the cities Nyköping and Norrköping on road E4 south of Stockholm. The value of the contract is 400 million Swedish crowns and the usual functional properties are valid. Normally the VTI Road Surface Tester is used to control the functional properties.

The role for the road researchers at VTI will be changed due to the development of functional contracts. Much of our research in the future will be performed on commission for the contractors instead of for the Road Administration. Therefore we have to market our road

technology for the contractors in the future and can't depend on our

old research plans for the Road Administration.

In the future we have to compete with our knowledge and high quality

in the research market in Europe when the boarders become more and

more open and only those who can compete will survive.

Statens väg- och trafikinstitut

Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute postadress gatuadress posta/ address off/ce address S-58101 Linköping Olaus Magnus väg 37

Sweden telefon te/ephone nat 013-20 40 00 int + 4613 20 40 00 telefax te/efax nat013 1414 36 |nt+ 4613141436 telex te/ex 50125 VTISGl S



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