VREF, the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations, is the collective name under which four foundations collaborate to finance research and education in the areas of transportation, environment and energy. Since the turn of the Century, these foundations – through VREF – have focused on the area Future Urban Transport (FUT) with the subtitle, “How to deal with complexity.” VREF finances FUT research programmes for the purpose of contributing to new ideas and solutions within the complex structure that lies behind the design of sustainable transportation systems in big cities. The challenge is to find urban transport systems that will provide accessibility for the masses while at the same time radically reducing transportation’s negative local and global environmental impacts.
OrganisationFUT is currently comprised of ten large research centres (Centres of Excellence, CoE) in six regions of the world, and a number of other research projects – Other Projects – that are often connected to one of the CoEs. VREF is governed by a Board and a Scientific Council. The Board decides which research will be financed, establishes policy, and is responsible for long-term asset management. The Scientific Council is responsible for evaluating the scientific quality of both the research funding applications that are submitted to VREF and the ongoing research that is carried out.
CornerstoneA cornerstone of VREF policy is that the research that is financed shall aim to influence the development of transportation systems that are sustainable and accessible for all. Therefore, the connections to education and stakeholders in each local environment are important aspects of planned research programmes.
The four VREF foundations are:
- the Volvo Research Foundation,
- the Volvo Educational Foundation,
- the Dr. Pehr G. Gyllenhammar Foundation,
- the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transport Research.