The fact that Göteborg is often referred to in Sweden as ”little London” has nothing to do with it. But what does matter is that the smaller city has succeeded in persuading the larger one to join a consortium that wants to test new, innovative approaches to mobility.
Shared visions make it easier to take action. One goal could be an automated non-fossil fuel based fleet of vehicles that function in a service-oriented transport world. This is what Darja Isaksson, the founder of the digital innovations company called Ziggy Creative Colony and a member of the Government’s innovation council, believes.
At the moment railways are being examined in the minutest detail. First it was the enquiry “A one-way ticket to the future” that took a close look at the organisation of the sector and the consequences of deregulation. The next instalment, which should be ready before Christmas, is going to contain proposals for changes.
SSAB is, in both senses of the word, one of the heavy freight transporters in Sweden. Its aim is to shift as much as possible by rail. Even so, a great deal of the load is still being transported by road. “We are affected badly when the railway system doesn’t work,” says Peter Jordansson, responsible for the development of global procurement at SSAB and a member of the Forum’s board.
The Forum for Transport Innovation has adopted a new strategy and a new action plan. These focus on areas where cooperation between all the stakeholders in the sector is needed to solve complex problems.
“The Forum is not intended as a talking shop. Our job is to get pilot trials under way that will show different stakeholders that it is possible to achieve safer and more efficient transport, with less environmental impact,” says Olle Isaksson, Head of Strategy for Ericsson’s Business Line Industry & Society and a board member of the Forum for Innovation in the Transport Sector.
Despite the major delays for Shift2Rail Sam Berggren remains hopeful. “This is the railway system’s big chance. If we fail to take it, there probably will not be any more.”
”Sweden is good at producing new knowledge through research. Unfortunately we are not so good at turning this knowledge into innovation and practical benefits,” says Håkan Jansson, who left his post as senior advisor at the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation this summer.