Published 2017-10-31

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Call for proposals on infrastructure closing soon

Delayed trains and leaking municipal water pipes are just two examples of Swedish infrastructure being in poor condition. The question is how to handle the problems. Finding the answers will be a key task for a new Mistra programme.

The programme will focus on three areas: road, rail, and water and sewerage (WS) systems. There, the shortcomings are so large as to impose extra costs on the whole of society.

‘We especially want to highlight the infrastructure that the municipalities are responsible for, primarily WS systems and local street networks. But road and rail infrastructure will also be included in the programme,’ says Thomas Nilsson, Programmes Director at Mistra.

Skills shortage a problem

One problem in the industry is insufficient knowledge development. This has resulted in a skills shortage in maintenance.

‘So we want the programme, besides developing knowledge, to help boost skills in the sector as well,’ says Nilsson.

The new programme will be designed around the following subareas:

  • Assessment of infrastructure condition
  • Forecasts and decision support
  • Financing and business models
  • Organisation and processes.

Issues relating to sustainability and digitisation will be included in all the subareas.

Mistra will invest SEK 49 million over four years, but expects companies, sector organisations and government agencies to contribute another 30% of the funding. The programme will thus have a total budget of almost SEK 70 million.

Applicants to the programme may be researchers jointly with both privately and publicly owned companies that manage infrastructure, and also government agencies, municipalities, and sector and interest organisations.

Applications must be received by Mistra on 4 December 2017 at the latest.

Text: Per Westergård