Smart Mobility and Accessibility

The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra) invites research groups, jointly with other partners, to submit proposals for a new research programme on mobility and accessibility. The purpose of Mistra’s initiative is to foster development of mobility and accessibility in a direction that drives sustainable development of society. The programme is intended to be interdisciplinary, to take a comprehensive view and to be based on the need for behavioural changes, with in-depth study of specific areas.

This post is also available in Swedish


Movements of people and goods cause a third of global greenhouse-gas emissions from human activity. We are also seeing a negative impact on the environment from particle emissions, other types of pollution, noise and inefficient resource use.

Present-day travel and transport patterns are governed by existing infrastructure. and by community and spatial planning that has long been based on giving priority to accessibility for vehicle transport. This cannot be reconciled with sustainable development of society. Various types of fixed physical structures in society have also been connected with specific functions and associated activities at the workplace, home and social meeting places, for example. These relationships are no longer as clear and in demand as they were. The growing lack of efficiency in the system is a burden on people and the environment alike.

Mistra has previously published a report (Background paper on sustainable transportexternal link) drawn up by an international working group that studied the environmental impact of transport. This report showed Mistra that in large-scale research initiatives that are under way to develop current transport technology, environmental and economic interests coincide. Existing initiatives focus to a high degree, however, on individual improvements or are confined to a single means of transport and thereby lack a comprehensive view.

The need for mobility and accessibility is not going to decrease; rather, it will grow. Accessibility will, however, be increasingly attainable by means other than physical movements, but there will continue to be a substantial need for these movements. New accessibility and mobility solutions that conform better to users’ demands must be created. Digital platforms, new business models, innovative financial technologies and adequate policy instruments that work in unison can help to foster behavioural and attitude changes to bring about more effective and environment-friendly mobility and accessibility. To support this progress, Mistra is announcing the new programme on the theme of ‘Smart Mobility and Accessibility’.


A new research programme should set out both to obtain knowledge of mobility and accessibility and to use this knowledge to cooperate with other stakeholders in developing sustainable mobility and accessibility solutions that can have an impact on society.

The programme will concern mobility services, attitudes, behaviour and the transition from today’s inefficient transport system to a more sustainable system centred on accessibility, in which efficient mobility is part of the solution. The programme can include research on:

  • Mobility and accessibility in more sustainable community and spatial planning.
  • Changes in attitudes and behaviour connected with mobility and accessibility.
  • Mobile activity-based workplaces.
  • Mobility and accessibility connected with regional development.
  • The role of the Internet and the digital society in development towards greater accessibility and mobility.
  • Intermodality as part of mobility services.
  • How disruptive innovations, technologies and services can be directed towards sustainable mobility and accessibility.
  • How new business models and policy instruments can promote more sustainable mobility and accessibility.

The programme should focus on mobility services, intermodality, and behaviour and attitudes. It therefore excludes research on fuels, engine design and fuel consumption.

Apart from specific technical research inputs, the programme is also to have an overall system view and include studies of collaboration among various stakeholders, both in the transport sector itself and between this sector and, for example, the service sector (including financial services) and IT.

Within the programme, various academic disciplines are expected to collaborate, and work with businesses, government agencies and other organisations. The programme must be based on interdisciplinary joint efforts with strong international elements.

In describing objectives, programme proposals should specifically take Mistra’s Statutes into account; see the sections about ‘Purpose’ and ‘Activities’ in particular.

Who can apply?

This call addresses research groups working at Swedish higher education institutions and research institutes. Researchers and organisations that are active abroad are welcome to take part in the application as partners, but the principal applicant and intended programme host must be a Swedish institution. Companies and other organisations may take part as partners.

Special terms and conditions

Co-funding is required. Parties taking part are expected to contribute at least 20% of the total budget, either in the form of cash funds or in kind.

For current rules on indirect costs, see Approved Costs in Mistra’s Projectsexternal link.

Application process and review

The application must be written in English (apart from a summary in Swedish), in the form of a programme planexternal link. The maximum length is 75 pages, including appendices. If the application exceeds 75 pages, the excess pages will not be taken into consideration in the evaluation.

The application must contain the following components:

1. Summary in English and Swedish
2. Vision and aims
3. Scientific value of the programme
4. Benefit to society of the programme
5. Programme organisation
6. Expertise and networks
7. Descriptions of projects included
8. Deliveries
9. Communication
10. Budget

Note that the programme proposal must clearly identify: (a) the preliminary programme title, (b) the intended programme host, (c) the intended programme director, (d) the contact person for the application, with full contact details. The application must also contain statements from the intended programme host and co-funding parties to corroborate their participation.

The application should be emailed as a single PDF file to It must reach Mistra not later than 2:00 pm on 18 December 2015.

All the applications will be evaluated with respect to programme

Time Schedule

6 October 2015 Opening of call
18 December 2015 Close of call
January 2016 Evaluation of applications
March 2016 Award decisions to be taken by Mistra’s Board
Second quarter of 2016 (preliminary) Programme start (incl. signing of agreements)


Christopher Folkeson Welch,,
+46 (0)707 323 074.