Follow-up and evaluation of innovation pilot contract for road maintenance

Funding: Swedish Transport Administration and ProcSIBE
Project duration: 2018-2022 (doctoral project) + senior research

Project background and description:

The Swedish Transport Administration has for many years pushed the supplier market within road maintenance towards increased efficiency, which has led to the supplier market reaching a state where further increase of efficiency demands innovation and development. The Swedish Transport Administration needs to develop its business strategies and work procedures to support supplier led development and innovation. Among other things, the Swedish Transport Administration needs to renew its business strategies to utilize, for example, the digitalization and automation’s possibilities for a renewal of the operation and maintenance and also for reaching the goals of a lower LCC and a better sustainability. The Swedish Transport Administration needs to improve its ability to innovate as a client for an increase of innovation and productivity.

For the procurement round of 2018 the Swedish Transport Administration created two “innovation pilots” within road maintenance, with the long-term goal of developing successful business strategies and work procedures that will create the best possibilities and driving forces for development and innovation on the supplier market. It is important that these contracts are followed up and evaluated to create the knowledge base that is needed for continued development of the business strategies for road maintenance.

The purpose of the project is to follow-up and evaluate the experiences and the effects of the innovation pilots’ business strategies, organizations and work procedures for prerequisites of development and innovation on the supplier market. Included in the purpose is also to compare the innovation pilots both with traditional road maintenance contracts and with similar maintenance contracts in the real estate sector. The project will provide the Swedish Transport Administration and the industry with research-based knowledge for the continued development of business strategies and work procedures within road maintenance. In addition, the project aims to investigate how knowledge and methods for development can be diffused between maintenance contracts, and how the Swedish Transport Administration can promote such organizational learning.

Research methods:
The general strategy of the project is a longitudinal evaluation of the contracts: the two innovations pilots and also two traditional contracts. The on-going evaluation and its continual data collection is based on a qualitative case study and the collection of data is done partly through participatory observations and partly through interviews with both the client and suppliers in all four contracts.

Project leader: Per Erik Eriksson, Luleå University of Technology

Emilia Nilsson Vestola PhD student, Luleå University of Technology
Johan Larsson, Luleå University of Technology
Tina Karrbom Gustavsson, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology)

Per-Erik Eriksson –
Johan Larsson –

Participating universities