Deepening swedish-brazilian innovation opportunities

For over 70 years aeronautics has been a key technology driver in Sweden, leading to numerous spin-offs. This has also been the case for Brazil. Academic-industrial cooperation has played a large role in this success and continues to do so.

Last week marked a new milestone within the bilateral cooperation between academia and industry in Sweden and Brazil. Marcus Wallenberg, chairman of Saab AB, and Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO, met the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and the Brazilian Minister of Defense, Jaques Wagner to present a professor chair (academic position) for Swedish Aeronautical Professors in Brazil.

The professor chair, dedicated to the late Peter Wallenberg Sr., enables the establishment of a Swedish academic presence in Brazil.

“The chair will be a platform for the most prominent and entrepreneurial Swedish professors in the aeronautical field to cooperate on research, education and innovation projects with Brazilian counterparts with ITA as the hub and focal point”-Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman Saab AB.

The chair will be based at the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA) within Comando da Aeronáutica (COMAER). The Swedish professors will stay in Brazil for two to six months a year, in order to deepen bilateral cooperation in research projects, education and innovation within aerospace technology – an area of interest for both countries.

The gift is the product of a partnership between Saab and the CISB (Centro de Pesquisa e Inovação Sueco-Brasileiro-the Center of Swedish-Brazilian Innovation) in association with Chalmers University of Technology, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and Linköping University.

This new initiative is one of many clear steps towards a long-term strategy of close cooperation between the two countries. It is also a part of the strategic program ‘INNOVAIR’ that aims to tighten the links between academics, government and industry in Brazil and Sweden.

Innovating for success

Sweden is world leading within innovation and ranks among the top countries in the world with the most international companies per capita. For years, Swedish export success has been the product of sustainable investment in research and development (R&D), cooperative efforts between the government, industry and academia (triple helix), an open innovation culture and strong global industrial presence.

R&D is an important part of Saab’s competitiveness – currently the company reinvests 27 percent of turnover back into R&D. For years Saab has been first to the market with many products and solutions that are now industry standard.



INNOVAIR is Sweden’s national strategic innovation program for aeronautics. The program coordinates and supports stakeholders from industry, universities, institutes, associations and government agencies active in the aerospace sector. The main objective is to promote favorable conditions for a strong aerospace industry in Sweden and to strengthen the aerospace sector through increased collaboration, research and information dissemination.

Sweden – Brazil academic industrial partnership timeline

A bilateral ambition was initiated before and in parallel with the Gripen negotiations to find new innovative ways to collaborate in aeronautics and innovation:

  • 2009 – SE-BR Memorandum of Understanding signed for cooperation in High-Tech Innovation
  • 2010 - Vinnova starts funding Swedish-Brazilian pre-study projects
  • 2011 - CISB is founded by Saab and partners in Sao Paulo
  • 2012 - CNPq, CISB and Saab launch an Industrial Guest Researcher Scholarship Program
  • 2014 - Swedish and Brazilian Ministers of Defence sign framework agreement
  • 2014 - ITA propose a bilateral research initiative
  • 2014 Nov – CISB & ITA arrange first workshop in Aeronautics & Defence, with more than 500 participants
  • 2014 Nov - CISB initiates 27 Brazilian Swedish pre-studies to develop Aeronautical Research and Innovation projects

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