Transport21: Providing strategic direction for R&D activities in Norway
As the Norwegian transport sector faces common global challenges regarding efficiency, safety and sustainability, the government’s outspoken ambition is for Norway to stand at the forefront of transport sector innovation. To this end, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has ordered the assembly of a national strategy group, Transport21, whose mandate is to advise the government on how to meet the transport challenges of the future.
«The growth of digitalization and automation presents opportunities to make transport safer, more efficient and more environment-friendly than ever before. However, in order to fully exploit the potential of new technologies, research and development efforts need to be applied in the right direction,” says Bernt Reitan Jenssen, CEO of the Oslo region’s public transport authority Ruter AS.
- Mrs Bernt Reintan Jenssen CEO of #Ruter
As the leader of the Transport21 strategy group, Jenssen helms a diverse group of experts recruited from across the Norwegian transport sector – business leaders, research directors and government agency officials, among others. Together, they are tasked with pinpointing key areas for research and development within their field.
“The main objective of Transport21 is to identify the questions that most urgently need answering. By doing this, we aim to provide crucial direction for R&D activities across the entire Norwegian transport sector”, says Jenssen.
Transport21 is similar in name to a range of other government-initiated strategy processes—among them Digital21, Energy21 and Maritime21—all conducted with the same purpose: To face important societal challenges by developing comprehensive national strategies for research and development.
A central aspect of all so-called “21-processes” is close cooperation between private companies, research institutes, interest groups and national authorities. Involvement from all corners of the transport sector provides legitimacy to analyses and strategies, while also raising awareness of important research topics across a fragmented industry.
In particular, private companies are encouraged to step up and lead the way with their own R&D projects, as the government’s commitment to tackling transport challenges presents a wealth of economic opportunities.
“With the ongoing shift towards a green transport sector, the global market for smart mobility solutions is expected to grow considerably in the years ahead. Norwegian businesses are in position to capitalize on this by researching and developing their own mobility solutions. Therefore, an important goal of our work is to stimulate R&D activity in the private sector, says Jensen.
Transport21’s report with recommendations to the government is due in June 2019.
Updated : March 27, 2019