Saab invests a substantial part of its turnover on research and development (R&D). 20 % in fact. This is a uniquely high figure and has been at this level for many years. It is a way of keeping us at the forefront of technology and continuing to develop products demanded by customers.
Aeronautics currently has just over 150 patents. The portfolio is growing
by approximately 15-20 patent families every year.
"Advanced technology and world class engineering skill has been and remains at the heart of Saab's success. In order to create the best conditions for the future product portfolio, Saab is investing in technology development, both internally and externally, and participating in a number of major research and development projects," says Göran Bengtsson, Director Commercial Aircraft Systems and Clean Sky at Saab Aeronautics.
One example of this is the seven year EU project, Clean Sky, aimed at developing new technology to make aviation more environmentally friendly. Saab is involved in three parts: Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft (SFWA), Systems for Green Operations (SGO) and Technology Evaluator.
The goal of Clean Sky is to contribute with technological solutions in order to reduce European air traffic emissions of carbon dioxide by 40 % and nitrogen oxide by 60 %. Sound emissions will be reduced substantially by around -20dB.
One of the systems being developed within SGO is Saab's innovative new Deicing system. Saab's solution makes it possible to reduce the engine's power output considerably, making it possible to use a smaller and lighter engine, which in turn leads to reduced emissions.
Further EU projects
Another research and development project is COALESCE2, an EU project led by Saab lasting three years. The project is an industrial collaboration study of new technology and design integration applied to aircraft fixed leading edge structure.
A project called SARISTU is under way within the EU's Seventh Framework Programme. Saab is taking part and developing nanocomposite technology and metallic coatings. In addition, Saab has begun negotiations with the EU about leading a future project LOCOMACHS focusing on automation and assembly techniques for composites and hybrid structures.
Research within composites
One project involving Saab that has just begun is the nationally funded project, Fast and cost-effective production of high performance composite components, which is engaged in research into fast and cost-effective production of composite components that live up to the strict requirements being imposed on tomorrow's suppliers regarding production rates and costs.
"This is an area where the need for new technology and knowledge is increasing rapidly. To remain competitive in a global market, we are focusing on increasing our knowledge and capability in areas such as design, materials, processes and automation, particularly in regard to composites and hybrid structures," says Göran Bengtsson.