The annual conference for Sweden's innovation ecosystems, Sveriges Innovationsriksdag, is this year arranged in Karlskrona. This is also the city in southern Sweden were Saab is currently building new submarines for the Swedish navy at the Kockums shipyard. The conference was opened by Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation. In his opening speech the minister pointed out the importance of innovation, not only to develop the Swedish companies but also as a tool for democracy and development of the society as whole.
Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, got a chance to talk about submarines and innovation with Anders Claesson and Benoit Passard from Kockums.
Innovation drives Swedish industry
The world renowned submarines from Saab are a good example on how Swedish innovation and entrepreneurship has put our company in world leading positions. Other areas where Saab is in the frontline are fighter jets, sensors and simulators.
One way to continue being competitive as a company is to work with innovation through collaboration with startups. Ignite Sweden is a national program aimed at increasing cooperation between small innovative startups and larger established companies in Sweden. So far, the organisation has been hired by companies like ABB, Volvo, Alfa Laval and Eon.
This year in Karlskrona, IGNITE has focus on Gaming, and how this technology can be implemented in the industry. Areas of interest are visualisation, AR (Augmented Reality), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AM (Additive Manufacturing). For Saab Kockums some of these technologies are already on their way into commercial use. As an example, AM can be used for parts of the Stirling AIP-system (Air independent propulsion).
Fredrik Kroll and his colleague Johan Zandén from Avionics are participating IGNITE match-making session and looking for new, potential partners. “There are a lot of innovative and skilled entrepreneurs out there. I am convinced Saab will be able to find some new partners to help us develop our business.”
Johan Zandén and Fredrik Kroll during an IGNITE match-making session
Why is innovation important for Saab?
Pontus De Laval, Chief Technology Officer at Saab:
“It is the most important thing. You have to spend money on things that might fail, because nobody has done them before, but with these mistakes you learn a lot. If failures in R&D worry a company too much, it will always be in the same comfort situation and the right things will not be done for the future. That is why we are investing in computer technologies, communication or quantum sensors, and a lot in AI and how to include big data and machine learning into our products.”
Why do we want to work with startups?
Christian Hedelin, Chief Strategy Officer at Saab:
“There are many reasons for collaboration with startups. With new partners we can discover and get access to new technologies, find new business models and see shifts in trend, society and industry. But it is also a way for us to improve our own internal innovation climate and to find entrepreneurial talents. It is like an injection of creative vitamins.”