FFI – Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation (Programme of VINNOVA) - Sweden
FFI – Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation (Programme of VINNOVA)
FFI is a partnership between the Swedish government and automotive industry to perform research on climate, environment and safety issues. Two-thirds of the project portfolio focuses on climate and environment while the remainder of the portfolio addresses safety issues. FFI’s overarching mission is to reduce the environmental impact of transportation, minimize the number of traffic accidents, and preserve and strengthen Sweden’s leadership position in the automotive sector.
Representative Best Practices
Investments in FFI flow through five collaborative programmes:
- The primary objective of the Energy & Environment programme is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from road vehicles and working machinery.
- The Vehicle and Traffic Safety programme assists in the creation of vehicles with specific requirements to reduce the number of accidents, through increased focus on research and innovation so Sweden can maintain its global leadership position in traffic safety.
- The Vehicle Development programme focuses on enhancing and furthering embedded vehicle software progress as well as building Sweden’s proficiencies in vehicle design.
- The purpose of the Sustainable Production Technology programme is to develop eco-friendly manufacturing systems and establish the conditions for their implementation.
The Transport Efficiency programme will create a functioning and well-established, overarching transport arena to improve and generate new forms of collaboration.41
- Anyone can apply for funds: Funding is an open environment for any company from any nation, provided the company has some kind of formal business involvement with an industrial contract party within FFI. Industrial contract parties include Volvo Group, FKG (Scandinavian Automotive Suppliers), Saab Automobile, Scania CV and Volvo Car Corporation. The projects that are eligible for funding must have some sort of affiliation with the Swedish automotive industry and allow Sweden to improve its global automotive presence.
FFI Board and independent experts examine and oversee projects: The FFI board manages the project portfolio, ensuring a proper balance between short- and long-term engagements. The FFI board also oversees and encourages collaboration between the different parties in the Swedish road traffic system. In addition, independent experts are called upon to examine project applications on the basis of such criteria as “how the project might contribute to the programme’s goals; quality of the project proposal; applicants’ ability to implement it; and strategy for utilizing and disseminating results”.42
Making an Impact
- 351 projects to date with 233 PhD researchers
R&D activities worth approximately € 100 million per year, with half coming from governmental funding43
Energy use per vehicle (based on a life cycle perspective) to be reduced by 20% by 202044
Representative Project Overviews
One project is the design of an electric car that is both safe and practical for the average daily commuter. FFI has already built a prototype based on the C30 model.45
The DFEA2020 project takes a detailed view into the electrical systems of future cars. This initiative allows for manufacturers to make a seamless transition to the eco-friendly car of tomorrow by creating the environment necessary for rapid technological development.46
Another project involves the development of a new dynamic model of the human body with human-like neck and shoulder kinematics based on active muscles, to be used in the design of:47
- Pedestrian restraint systems
- Pedestrian, sport and fall accident reconstructions