LFV's research and innovation activities take place both in-house, but also within the framework of collaborations with universities, other authorities and organizations. The work is run on the basis of a number of strategic development areas, with the aim of developing new concepts and solutions that increase safety, efficiency, capacity, availability and sustainability. The Swedish Transport Administration and Horizon 2020, the EU's Framework Program for Research and Innovation (SESAR), are the major financiers of LFV's research.

The Swedish Transport Administration, Vinnova, INEA and universities are collaborative partners in LFV's research and innovation work. About 25 projects and feasibility studies were conducted in 2019 with researchers and postgraduates.

Every year, LFV awards an innovation scholarship of SEK 10,000 to a student or employee at Linköping University to encourage research and innovation linked to air traffic management and aviation.

In 2019, LFV and Örnsköldsvik Airport worked together to develop the airports of the future in a unique collaboration. The development of an international test and demonstration center for remote and autonomous airports at Örnsköldsvik Airport has been ongoing during the year. The arena will be a forum for players in the aviation industry and stakeholders from industry, academia, government and the region.

The purpose of the arena is primarily to support research in air traffic management and airport operations with a real test, development and demonstration environment, but also, through broad collaborative projects, contribute to the conditions for the development of industry and social functions in this region and in Sweden nationally, with aviation as a starting point.

FOI Automation Program

The automation program started in 2015 and LFV presented the results last year at some 15 conferences, collaborating with institutions and research institutes outside Sweden including the USA NASA, UK Southampton & NATS, Korea KAIST, Singapore NTU and Sharia University in the United Arab Emirates. Knowledge transfer from the program is continuous to the Swedish Maritime Administration and the Swedish Transport Administration in order to support transport type cross-border development. Delivered in 2019 include:

  • Concept development and demonstration for UTM (airspace, drone traffic in urban and rural areas).
  • Concept development for UAM (drone traffic and services in urban environment).
  • Analysis and development of the investigation process for incidents within LFV.
  • Human performance case for establishing RTS.
  • Developed models for risk assessment by applying machine learning to arrivals and departures at Arlanda.
  • A continuation of the Automation program will include the start of an industrial PhD student in AI-assisted air traffic management.

Research on drone services

LFV and Linköping University have been conducting three research projects with Sharjah University in the United Arab Emirates for some years, one of which is "Dubai UTM" where SAAB also participates with technical expertise. VINNOVA finances the project, which is about visualizing, communicating and showing what effects can be expected from extensive drone traffic in an urban environment. Read more about drones here.

Elise - electric air transport in Sweden

ELISE is a Swedish initiative run in project form with support from Vinnova funds. It is headed by Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. LFV, together with Saab, GKN Aerospace and the Swedish Aircraft Industry, are among other advisers. The goal is a certified electric aircraft that can fly 400 km by 2025.

The idea is that in the future, electric aircraft can be used at short and medium distances and in the long term contribute to reduced carbon dioxide emissions, but also to reduced noise and other emissions. In March 2019, a Phase 2 application was submitted to Vinnova in the ELISE project. The plan is to build a consortium in industry and academia that creates the conditions for the development of electric aircraft.  LFV has offered to be a reference group member together with GKN and Saab. For LFV's part, the commitment is part of the external monitoring and contact with the industry, which shows the customers' future needs.

Sweden has excellent conditions for developing an electric aircraft by being a pioneer in the environmental field, having an aviation industry and being in the forefront in innovation and new technology. Sweden could very well stand up to the competition of electric aircraft production in the world.

EDIS - electric aircraft and drones in the service of the community

The EDIS research project - electric aircraft and drones in the service of the community - will show the possibilities of using drones and electric aircraft to improve the conditions for community service and transport in areas with large distances and limited access to critical social functions. The project is run by LFV, Katla Aero, Flypulse, Guideline Geo and Luleå University of Technology and is funded by the Swedish Transport Administration.

The project will show how new drone technology can be used to achieve a more sustainable and efficient aviation business and show the benefit primarily in sparsely populated regions. This in turn generates more knowledge for the Swedish Transport Administration, LFV, the Swedish Transport Agency and other actors, and in extension to the entire community. EDIS is driving development and legislation, which is essential for a faster transition to a fossil-free vehicle fleet. Read more in the press release about EDIS.