About us

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Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories


FEHRL celebrated its 30th birthday in 2019, having been formed in 1989 by a group of road research laboratories, in what was then Western Europe in 1989 who were keen to explore closer cooperation. This was to be seen in light of international developments over several years. The European Union was to include transport in its portfolio as of 1992, a European Transport Policy was being drafted, and the European Commission had initiated large research programmes.  

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FEHRL Ecosystem

FEHRL does not and cannot work in isolation, but rather in an ecosystem of members, end-users, stakeholders and partners fulfilling various roles.  


The key element in this ecosystem is the FEHRL members themselves, as identified, and where appropriate (e.g. Ireland, Netherlands and Norway) their scientific representatives on the Research Coordinator committee

Stakeholders & Partners

There are effectively two sets of enabling organisations with whom FEHRL and its members need to collaborate to execute its mission and reach its vision.


Society and more specifically the mobility of people and goods represent the ultimate end-users of FEHRL’s products and services.



FEHRL is governed by a General Assembly (FGA) from whom a President and Vice-President(s) are elected to serve for three years. The Board meets at least twice a year to conduct FEHRL business and to ensure that the objectives are being vigorously pursued.
The FEHRL structure:
The President, Vice-President(s) and other elected General Assembly (FGA) members constitute a FEHRL Supervisory Board Assembly which has the function of overseeing the activities of the Association. 
The FEHRL Executive Committee (FEC) is responsible for the legal and contractual aspects of FEHRL operations. They supervise the ongoing research programmes and appoint Project Managers. The FEC Members assess the risks and benefits of project proposals initiated by the FEHRL Research Area Leaders (RALs) and FEHRL Research Coordinators (RC), especially the management and financial risk for the Association, which they manage on behalf of the FEHRL Supervisory Board (FSB). The FEC Members are the signatories on all FEHRL contracts. 
The development of collaborative research activities are organised through the FEHRL Research Area Leaders (RALs) and FEHRL Research Coordinators (RC). The latter, from all institutes, facilitate exchange on a wide range of research and technical matters concerning roads. The RC Members provide a flexible and effective link between the General Assembly (FGA) and the Presidency, FEC Members, the FEHRL Secretariat and the FEHRL Institute-Members and Associates.
The RC Members initiate Task Forces to assist in the formulation of activities on individual technical topics. Meanwhile, the FOREX Working Group develops FEHRL's flagship Forever Open Road programme and elements.
The FEHRL Secretariat supports the Association's activities and acts as focal point for the development of new opportunities for collaboration and knowledge dissemination, from its offices in Brussels.

Who are we?

The first question posed was ‘who is FEHRL?’, which on the face of it seems strange as countless documents have explained who FEHRL is, the members and general activities, but there was no definitive answer about this, and the ~30 members of FEHRL and the FEHRL secretariat, if asked would likely provide ~30 different responses, albeit running along a similar vein.
The ‘definitive’ answer to who FEHRL is, has been agreed as follows:
We are a Forum for R&D&I in transport infrastructure, composed of national research institutes, universities and transport authorities.

Mission Statement and Objectives

The mission builds upon the vision to provide the key building blocks to help achieve the vision. It has been agreed as:

  • Our mission is to serve society by accelerating the development and facilitating the deployment of collaborative science, technical knowledge and innovative solutions for the road infrastructure sector

The mission statement can be shortened as follow:

  • Innovative roads for everyone’s mobility

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FEHRL Values


One of the keys to the success of FEHRL, and indeed all successful organisations are the values of cooperation, respect and trust, where colleagues from different organisations have become friends. For the first time, these values have been articulated for both internal collaboration and external positioning, based on the feedback from workshops. They are as follows:

  • INTERNAL: trust, fairness, commitment, team spirit
  • EXTERNAL: reliability, excellence, transparency, neutrality