Aeronautics is a highly strategic technology area both for Brazil and for Sweden. Brazil is one of the four major civil aircraft manufacturers in the world, represented by Embraer. Sweden, despite being a small country, is very successful as a military aircraft manufacturer, as well as a supplier of parts for civil aircrafts. The aviation industry as a user of advanced technologies has influences that extend far beyond the boundaries of its segment by involving auto industry, communication industry, development of news composites etc. and it is therefore a very important player in the national innovation system.
The common denominator between Sweden and Brazil is the signing of the contract for the Gripen NG project. The two countries are now seeking to strengthen the new industrial partnership established in the aeronautical sector. There are also ambitions, both in Brazil and in Sweden, to expand capabilities for developing also the next generation of aircraft. By building on the relations, there is a unique long term opportunity to develop these capabilities in collaboration.
Credits: Gripen NG © Saab AB
One of the new topics for this year’s Innovation weeks in Bio economy. This is an important and strategic topic. Bio economy can be defined as the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products. Examples of that could be food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. Its sectors and industries have strong innovation potential due to their use of a wide range of sciences, enabling and industrial technologies, along with local and tacit knowledge.
One example is advanced biofuels. Sweden is committed to reduce its net emissions of greenhouse gas to zero by 2045. The Swedish transport sector will reduce emissions with 70% by 2030 compared to 2010. Despite these tough goals, Swedish economy has grown with 10%, while greenhouse gas emissions were reduced wit 10% from 2010-2016. The triple helix model, where government, industry and academia collaborate has been and will continue to be a key success factor in achieving the set goals.
Brazil started to produce advanced biofuels already in 2014. The country has been a forerunner in regards to the first generation of advanced biofuels, with the ethanol production. Brazil is working on the development of a national policy, Renovabio with the aim to achieve the target of reducing GHG by 43% by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels).
Both Sweden and Brazil have a well-established biomass production with great relevance in the energy matrix, which can support the development of advanced biofuels. However, advanced biofuels is only one area in the larger scope of bioeconomy where Brazil and Sweden have identified synergies. Areas such as bioenergy with focus on biogas and pellets are applicable. The concept of bioeconomy also touches on other relevant fields where Sweden and Brazil can collaborate, such as bi-products from the chemical industry with bio-plastics as an example.
Digitalization has been a transformational force that affects everyone – businesses, organizations, individuals and society at large. It’s developing rapidly and offers great opportunities, but also challenges. Everyday millions of independent events take place and can change the course of businesses and of the industry in a blink of an eye. The advancement of technologies such as data analysis, information mobility, social media and cloud computing have provided an unparalleled power to companies by allowing new business models and processes to take place, and create innovative ways of interacting with customers, partners and employees.
The next step forward in the Swedish-Brazilian Innovation Partnership is to further deepen the focus on digitalization as a transformational force for innovation and entrepreneurship. This issue is particularly important for startups, an area where Sweden has vast experience. Together with Brazil can we cooperate and develop partnerships in digital innovation to mutually benefit and use the transformational force of digitalization to positively impact business and society at large.
The Gripen cooperation between Sweden and Brazil implies that the two countries are now entering a close, strategic industrial relationship for the next 25-30 years. The nature of the project, which is based on the notion of innovation and co-creation, can potentially alter the dynamic in which our two countries interact. In effect, we are no longer talking about the traditional sales-purchase of national products but, instead, a collaborative relation in which Sweden and Brazil act together, joining our competitive strengths and taking stock of global value chains
This overall idea, to let a joint industrial project drive a shared economic development agenda, mainly through potential spin-offs in other economic sectors, is partly a new form of policy, where the need for assessment and evaluation will be critical. Only by setting up a system for a continuous learning will Sweden and Brazil be able to cease our joint opportunities. With innovation being a central piece of both Brazilian and Swedish growth policies, the need for assessment and evaluation of innovation policies, has concrete relevance also outside the Gripen NG project.
Both Sweden and Brazil have a large forestry sector. In 2015, Brazil had 5.9 million hectares of certified forest. The forestry industry has always played a large role in the Swedish economy and employment. In Sweden, 73% of the country is covered by forest being 80% cultivated. The forestry sector has traditionally had a large part of both countries’ economies. The sector is however changing and is now looking in to issues as how to find new materials and new products from wood. At the same time the issue of sustainability is a fundamental part of the forestry sector .
New matereials have been developed from wood through Swedish research on nanocellulose, for instance. Applications of nanocellulose are envisioned in environmentally friendly packaging, as well as materials for building insulation and reinforcement of non-flammable plastic materials, therefore reducing pollution and carbon footprint.
Sweden and Brazil have a long history of being great mining nations with a lot of knowledge and expertise in the field. Brazil is an attractive partner, offering highly interesting opportunities for cooperation in many areas particularly within mining – an industry of major importance for both Brazil and Sweden.
The last century has opened the door for cutting-edge technology companies to grow internationally – especially mining industries where Sweden is a frontrunner in sustainable innovation and technology. Matching these companies with Brazil’s strong developments in mining does not only provide mutual business opportunities, but also important discussions of shared interest in technology, knowledge development and sustainable and social responsibility processes. There is great potential to expand the existing exchanges and cooperation between our two countries by seeking innovative solutions together that would be mutually beneficial.
Following the Brazilian government’s decision in October 2014 to acquire the Swedish fighter jet system Gripen NG, there has been a radical approximation in the relations between Brazil and Sweden. Building on the notion of the Gripen NG project as a ‘locomotive’, creating spillover effects also in other areas of the economy, several advancements have also been made to step-wise define additional areas of collaboration. Sweden and Brazil are, because of the sheer size of the project currently entering a close, strategic industrial relationship for the next 25-30 years. Similarly, the nature of the project, which is based on the notion of innovation and co-creation, is presently altering the dynamic in which the countries interact.
Open Innovation is a crucial element when Brazil deepens discussions on how to increase its insertion into the global market and also industry productivity and competitiveness. The existing cooperation between Sweden and Brazil has been of significant importance, as the partnership has allowed Brazil to establish a starting point for discussions on innovation in the context of its domestic industry.
Open innovation also plays an important role for co-creation. By creating a direct and open dialogue, practical challenges and opportunities following this new dynamic can be discussed. How do we organize ourselves to make the most out of a relationship based on innovation and co-creation? What is open innovation and how may it provide a way forward? What are the experiences so far to build from? These are all questions that can provide direct and concrete input to the continuous policy dialogue between Brazil and Sweden.
Sweden and Brazil share a deep commitment for a sustainable development. Our countries have both hosted multilateral and mind-changing conferences uniting thousands of people working for a sustainable future.
The growth of cities and the increase in population leads to a series of management problems and therefore increased costs, both management and maintenance of services and infrastructure. It is therefore important to consider the objective, reducing costs with a view to intelligent and innovative use of technology directed to energy, environmental and transportation aspects. These unique challenges and opportunities has resulted in the concept Smart Cities.
The concept of Smart City focuses on innovation for sustainable mobility and energy efficiency. A consortium of Swedish and Brazilian stakeholders are promoting system innovation, combining information technology and smart grids to develop electro-mobility, energy efficient and low-carbon transport services aiming at sustainable urban development and the opportunity to rethink the development of cities.
Solutions to urban issues such as waste treatment projects, power distribution, large-scale events, security, mobility, resource management and capacity development for better decision making, are projects that are included in this concept.
In 2015 the UN General Assembly formally accepted a new set of 17 measurable Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranging from ending world poverty to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls by 2030. These goals were to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight measurable goals which were signed in September 2000. Within 15 years all countries in the world are expected to fulfil these goals. This implies challenges but also opportunities, which calls for innovative thinking of how we live and organize our lives.
Sweden has already started organizing a plan to accomplish the 2030 Agenda. Not only for Sweden but for Brazil as well, the new goals involve many challenges in terms of implementation. Part of Sweden’s plan, the #FirstGeneration initiative was created by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aiming to spread knowledge about the Global Goals and the important role of educators in engaging young people in sustainable development.
Brazil has participated in this initiative together with Sweden with some twenty inspirers from around the world to meet in Stockholm in October for the #FirstGeneration Forum to step up the pressure in order to achieve the UN’s 17 Global Goals.
In May 2016 top Brazilian and Swedish universities joined together for the 5th SACF Excellence Seminar. More than 200 Swedish and Brazilian top researchers, funding agencies and government representatives together with top-level university management met in Brasilia for a two- day meeting. The discussions reached from Life Science and Nanotechnology to Sustainable Development and inclusive education, gender and ethnicity. . The meeting created a number of new contacts and networks that will between the Swedish and Brazilian counterparts and hopefully new academic joint projects.
Also, Swedish universities have shown a great interest in recruiting students and talents from Brazil. Each year a number of Swedish Universities do a ‘Study in Sweden Roadshow’ visiting capitals and major Brazilian universities, promoting their universities. This year, the ‘Study in Sweden Brazilian Roadshow’ will visit eight Brazilian cities in various states (Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Campinas, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Santo André), between October 18th and 31st. The 27th of October Swedcham will organize a Career Fair in São Paulo where the universities as well as a number of Swedish companies will attend.