The spirit of the Volvo Research and Education Foundations' mission is to serve the public good. A cornerstone of VREF policy is that our investments in research and education shall contribute to the development of sustainable and equitable transportation systems. 

Consequently, all research findings under VREF programs should be made public and accessible for all. Publications in peer-reviewed journals and communication at scientific events is a basic requirement for all VREF supported projects, but equally important is communication with stakeholders in each local environment, as well as with policymakers at all levels. Research teams in the Future Urban Transport program have outreach beyond scientific circles embedded in their work, and they are frequently consulted both locally and globally.

The VREF has also developed a program of selected communication activities, which is complementary to the work of the research teams. In implementing such activities we often work with partners to extend our own networks and reach out to broader audiences.

Meeting Places

VREF organizes meetings such as the MOBILIZE Summit 2016 in Yichang, China (co-organized with the Institute for Transport and Development Policy, ITDP) and the VREF Conference on Urban Freight 2016 in Gothenburg (co-organized with the Urban Freight Platform).

Research summaries

VREF complements full research reports with some "quick-to-read" material for professionals and policymakers. Starting in 2015, we produce a series of two-page "VREF Research Briefs," which summarize state-of-the-art on specific topics. A more comprehensive introduction to the urban freight research area was provided in the research synthesis report "Why Goods Movement Matters" (May 2016). VREF Research Briefs and Research Synthesis Reports can be downloaded at www.vref.se, where we also post news from VREF supported projects.

Social Media

Researchers and key findings from the Future Urban Transport program are frequently featured in interviews and blog posts, produced and published in cooperation with partners, e.g. the Meeting of the Minds blog series, http://cityminded.org/blog, and the ITDP Transport Matters blog series, https://www.itdp.org/news/transport-matters-blog/

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Upcoming Events
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The VREF invites Sub-Saharan based researchers with expertise on sustainable and equitable
mobility and access or related areas, and strong interest in carrying out interdisciplinary research. Open for application until 2020-09-29


The VREF invites PhD students and advanced master students from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities to apply for a Mobility Grant (MG) to support a visit to another SSA university with up to SEK 25 000.


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

Each year the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transportation Research awards a scholarship to a prominent researcher.


Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call extended to April 30, 2020 due to COVID19.


Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas

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