UNC Highway Safety Research Center establishes international cooperative with Netherlands research center

CHAPEL HILL – The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) and the Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid (SWOV), Institute for Road Safety Research, based in Leidschendam, Netherlands, have entered an agreement to collaborate on highway safety research.

The signing of the official memorandum of understanding took place on March 7, 2007, at South Building on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

"We are excited about the opportunity to share our highway safety knowledge with the Netherlands and learn more about the type of research conducted at SWOV," said David Harkey, director of HSRC. "As we look ahead to the future of HSRC, we intend to include an international scope as part of our mission – this agreement is a step in that direction."

Under the terms of the agreement, which was the first of its kind for HSRC, the two Centers will work in conjunction to advance road safety in the Netherlands and the United States by means of scientific research and the exchange of information. Among other stipulations, the agreement includes an exchange program that will allow researchers to experience and work within the other country. The two Centers will also explore opportunities for collaborative projects to improve road safety in developing countries throughout the world.

Attendees signing the agreement included Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development, UNC-Chapel Hill; Peter Coclanis, associate provost for international affairs, UNC-Chapel Hill; David Harkey, director, UNC Highway Safety Research Center; and Fred Wegman, managing director, Institute for Road Safety Research.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Bonchak at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center at 919-843-4859.

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