RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE FINNISH ROAD ADMINISTRATION
The aim of the Finnish Road Administration's (Finnra) research and development activities is to create new information and knowledge, so that the Finnish transport system could operate more efficiently, safely and competitively, based on the principle of sustainable development. Finnra's R&D activities involve the development of guidelines, quality requirements, and methods serving applied research and road management.
The maintenance and development of technology in road, bridge and traffic are integral parts of Finnra's broad responsibility as the largest agency maintaining public infrastructure in Finland and as the developer of the road transport system. The complex nature of road management and traffic requires that experience is developed throughout the whole sector. Therefore, it is important to maintain constant and versatile development based on the strategic focal points specified.
When Finnra's operations were internally divided into the Road Administration and the Finnish Road Enterprise, research and development were also separated. Road Administration concentrates on impact management and the development of products and services. The starting points for Enterprise R&D activities are the production-related needs associated with road management and the related trends. These include cost and quality-efficiency of production activities as well as the development of production methods.
The annual research and development program is based on the approved strategy. The present Research and Development Strategy (see links) approved by Finnra's Board on 26 February 2002 provides the cornerstone of the R&D programs pursued in the near future.
The R&D activities of the Road Administration incorporate strategic programs and themes. Strategic programs are directed at the most important Road Administration operations. Spanning several years, they constitute research and development projects often requiring considerable investment. The research themes are aimed at maintaining and developing broad expertise in road management. Each Road Administration research theme has a person in charge, who is responsible for co-ordinating and administering the theme (see annual program).
The Road Administration commissions the majority of R&D projects from research institutions, consultants, and the Finnish Road Enterprise. The work done in the Road Administration mainly consists of commissioning the projects, supervision and practical implementation of the outcomes. Finnra participates in EU studies only as far as they comply with Finnra strategy. Finnra will support telematics projects, traffic flow studies and special investigations into Northern areas.
The annual research and development program will be published and accessible on Finnra's website in Finnish and English. Reports on each study and the guidelines revised on the basis of the studies are usually published in Finnra's publication series, or, in case of collaborative projects, in some other series (Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of the Environment, etc). An increasing number of guidelines and reports are published on the Internet as well. In addition, information about new publications is conveyed to the IRRD database of the OECD.
Finnish Road Administration Central
Ministry of Transport and Communications (choose 'Research')
Finnra research projects