The project is a collaboration between companies, businesses, authorities and research communities in order to enhance the competence and ability to improve tunnel safety nationally and internationally. The project will support companies that want to promote their own tunnel safety solutions by:
- Discuss security management principles for road systems that include tunnels.
- Challenge functional requirements in a risk-based management.
- Describe different ways to express the effectiveness of safety measures and solutions.
- Include self-rescue principles in the design premises for adaptation to road user?s competence levels.
Tunnel developments often cost tens of billion NOK. Specialized suppliers rely on entering into larger value chains to gain access to markets. How can the businesses in Southwestern Norway get into a position of innovation in tunnel safety? Why do some businesses succeed while others do not? Where are the biggest barriers to innovation and better solutions for increased tunnel safety?
These issues are central in the project, and we work with research activities such as; further developing "risk models" to improve decisions; identify knowledge bases and develop models for prediction and dispersion of toxic gases; and develop models and increase comprehension of traffic behaviour in critical situations.
The project includes several early stage researchers (MSc and PhD-candidates), who are connected with industrial, tunnel owners and authority enterprises in their projects. The researchers have since 2018 inter alia; developed a model for fire occurrences in heavy goods vehicles travelling tunnels; compared risk management approaches in the oil & gas sector with road tunnel design; and a model for workplace learning of fire and rescue services involved in tunnel fire safety. We have also carried out activities and projects that contribute to increased knowledge about: asset management in the tunnel industry, fire smoke toxicity and gas spread in tunnels, and mechanical ventilation as part of the safety management in the event of a tunnel fire. Participation in the EU-project SafeInTunels, will contribute to increased learning and skills development in the fire and rescue service in connection with tunnel safety.
The number of data sources and the quality of real-time data increases, giving new opportunities to tunnel safety innovations. Vital infrastructure Arena's (VIA's) experience as an innovation arena for technical solutions has already highlighted the possibilities by using ICT in the tunnel safety work. Important topics are; early detection of events and hazardous conditions; information to road users; communication between road users and rescue services. The activities are linked to specific products, such as apps, sensors, and automated systems.
We work with innovation perspectives and meeting places to develop and share knowledge about how Norwegian players in tunnel safety can win international tender processes.
The project is recruiting more PhD-students. New arenas for transferring experiences, knowledge and developing knowledge is a prioritized task now and forward. Project personnel has presented the project at several Conferences and meetings towards the tunnel safety industry, and published scientific articles. The project is involved in several sub-projects such as the planning of a National competence center for tunnel safety, contributing to the development of a pilot for real-time risk description, and evaluating the effect of an information campaign aimed at road users.
The project is developing learning activities directed at tunnel safety, and there is close collaboration with various actors in order to develop activities for the industry, the tunnel owners and authorities as well as for the university students. In 2021, we ran seminar activities with associated problem-based teaching through the Department of Continuing and Further Education UiS (EVU), and initiated a 30 credits university study in tunnel safety in 2022.
Prosjektet ønsker å utvikle kompetanse på tunnelsikkerhet. Vi har strukturert prosjektinnholdet ut fra bedriftenes behov. Fra en faglig vinkling kombinerer vi tradisjonell trafikksikkerhetsforskning med felt som IKT og innovasjonsforskning. Dette gir sammensatt kunnskap som løser problemer for bedriftene på flere felt samtidig. Arbeidspakkene er en blanding av tradisjonelle FoU-arbeidspakker, hvor fokus er å drive forskningsfronten videre på de mest sentrale feltene; men vi har samtidig flere arbeidspakker hvor vi har integrert metoder på hvordan vi kan jobbe opp mot bedriftenes behov fra innovasjonsforskning med tunnelsikkerhetsforskning.