Aeronautics is a highly strategic technology area for both Brazil and Sweden. Sweden, despite being a small country, is a very successful defense aircraft manufacturer and supplier of parts for civil aircrafts. And Brazil through Embraer is one of the four major civil aircraft manufacturers in the world. The aviation industry with its use of advanced technologies has extensive influences also in other sectors by involving auto industry, communication industry, and development of news composites among some. This means that the aeronautics industry is a very important player in the national innovation system.
The common denominator between Sweden and Brazil is the signing of the Gripen contract. The deal between Brazil and SAAB on purchasing 36 fighter jets is different in the sense that the parties will develop the plane together. The first batch will be made in Sweden and the second will be produced in Brazil. It is about co-creating and knowledge sharing. The ambition, both in Brazil and in Sweden, is to expand and develop the competence for the next generation of aircrafts. By building on this relation, 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 is bioeconomy. Bioeconomy is an important and strategic topic, which can be defined as the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products. Examples are food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. The sectors and industries working with bioeconomy have strong innovation potential due to their use of a wide range of sciences, enabling and industrial technologies and local and tacit knowledge.
One example is advanced biofuels. Sweden has made a commitment to reduce the net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero by 2045. Moreover, 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 GHG emissions were reduced by 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, and with its ethanol production it has been a forerunner in regards to the first generation of advanced biofuels. .In addition, Brazil is working on a national policy (Renovabio) with the aim of achieving 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, and 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 has affected everyone – businesses, organizations, individuals and society at large. It is developing rapidly and offers great opportunities, as well as challenges. Every day, millions of independent events take place that could change the course of the industry and businesses in the blink of an eye. The advancement of technologies such as data analysis, information mobility, social media and cloud computing have provided unparalleled power to companies by allowing new business models and processes to take place, and creating 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 we can cooperate and develop mutually beneficial partnerships in digital innovation, and use the transformational force of digitalization to positively impact businesses and our societies.
A number of Swedish digitech companies have established on the Brazilian market in recent years. The companies see a huge potential in the Brazilian market with 120 million internet users.
The Gripen cooperation between Sweden and Brazil means that the two countries will now enter into a close, strategic industrial relationship for the coming 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 and joins competitive strengths.
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. For such new working method assessment and evaluation will be critical. Only by setting up a system for continuous learning will Sweden and Brazil be able to seize the opportunities that might come out. 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 within and beyond the Gripen NG project.
Both Sweden and Brazil have large forestry sectors. The forestry sector has traditionally had a large part of both countries’ economies. In Sweden, the forestry industry has always played a large role in the Swedish economy and employment, 73% of the country is covered by forest out of which 80 % is cultivated. In addition, in 2015 it was reported that Brazil had 5,9 million hectares of certified forest; a staggering amount which illustrates the importance of, and opportunity presented, by the forestry sector in Brazil.
However, the sector is changing and facing many challenges, such as creating a more sustainable forestry industry; deforestation; development of new materials and products from wood; as well as more efficient use of energy. For example, new materials have been developed from wood through Swedish research on nanocellulose. Applications of nanocellulose are envisioned in environmentally friendly packaging, as well as materials for building insulation and reinforcement of non-flammable plastic materials, hence reducing pollution and carbon footprint. Also, to reduce costs and improve processes, researchers at Embrapa (Brazilian Company of Agricultural Research) are working on the use of nanotechnology for application in the Brazilian forestry sector and its related industries.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is a highly important topic within innovation and co-creation. The cooperation between Sweden and Brazil in general, and the Gripen project in particular, raises a number of questions to be addressed and will require co-developed guidelines on IPR and related practices.
The Patent and Registration Office (PRV) is the Intellectual Property Authority in Sweden, and they are working on new ideas in the cutting edge of technology and development to strengthen Sweden’s growth and competitiveness. An exchange between Sweden and Brazil is being initiated in this context that aims to bring Swedish expertise on IPR to Brazil in order to create an opportunity that will enable discussions on how IPR and developments on the topic relate to Brazilian IPR practices. Moreover, it will also open for exploring how Swedish companies active in Brazil can benefit from this mutually beneficial exchange and learning process.
Both Sweden and Brazil have a long history of mining. Both countries have large mining companies and many mines in addition to vast knowledge and expertise in the field. In Brazil, the mining sector comprises 2,3% of its GDP, and all of 7% when including the mineral transformation industry. Moreover, the mining sector in Sweden has increased its share in the country’s GDP during the 2000s, and in 2010 totaled 0,85% of GDP. Sweden is also a frontrunner in sustainable innovation and technology.
Matching these companies with Brazil’s strong developments in mining would provide mutual business opportunities as well as knowledge sharing in technology, knowledge development, and sustainable and social responsibility processes. There is great potential to expand the existing exchange and cooperation between our two countries by together seeking mutually beneficial innovative solutions. In order to enhance the cooperation between Sweden and Brazil in the mining area a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in October 2016.
Following the Brazilian government’s decision in October 2014 to acquire the Swedish fighter jet system Gripen NG, there has been an increased approximation in the relations between Brazil and Sweden. The Gripen project is both wide and long-term and will be a close and strategic industrial relationship for the next 25-30 years. The nature of the project is based on the notion of innovation and co-creation which will change the dynamic in which the countries interact and make it wider and more profound. 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.
Open innovation is a crucial element in industry productivity, competitiveness and how to increase the insertion into the global value chain. 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 build from this far? These are all questions that can provide direct and concrete input to the continuous policy dialogue between Brazil and Sweden.
The introduction of new technology has, by fundamentally altering the ways we do things, occasionally major implications also for policy making. One such area is the combined use of satellites and wider information technology. The latter, which traditionally has been a military security concern, is with evolving technology now providing increased access to new and hitherto undisclosed information regarding our eco-systems and natural resources that may be of critical use also outside the defense area. Hence, in addition to the established surveillance component, access to new data may also provide powerful input to new policies, along with recurrent testing and assessment of ongoing activities.
The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) is the leading global provider of advanced space services. The SSC focuses on three core areas: rocket and balloon launch services at Esrange Space Center and development of experiment payloads; reliable access to satellites in virtually any orbit, as the operator of one of the world’s largest civilian network of ground stations, SSC Universal Space Network; and engineering services to customers’ projects by bringing consulting expertise to all phases of their space programs.
There is potential for an extended Swedish-Brazilian collaboration regarding the use of satellites as an instrument for sustainable land-use and regional planning. The potential for such collaboration seems particularly promising in this case. Sweden and Brazil have both been forerunners in the global SDG and climate change agendas and therefore share a joint commitment to promote further action in these two processes.
Sweden and Brazil share a deep commitment for sustainable development. Both our countries have hosted multilateral and mind-changing conferences uniting thousands of people working for a sustainable future. Population growth and the expansion of cities, leads to a series of management problems and increased costs, both related to management and maintenance of services and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to consider the objective, while reducing costs and focusing on intelligent and innovative use of technology related to topics such as energy, environment and transportation. These unique challenges and opportunities have resulted in the concept Smart City.
The Smart City concept focuses on innovation for sustainability, improved 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 as well as energy efficient and low-carbon transport services. All this aimed at toward 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 taking action to combat climate change. These goals succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were a set of eight measurable goals adopted in September 2000. By 2030, all countries are expected to fulfil these 17 goals and corresponding targets, which creates challenges but also opportunities and as such calls for innovative thinking regarding how we live and organize our lives.
Sweden has already started organizing a plan to accomplish the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and the SDGs. However, for both Sweden and Brazil the new goals involve many challenges in terms of implementation. The #FirstGeneration initiative was created by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a part of the plan, aiming to spread knowledge about the SDGs and the importance of educators engaging young people in sustainable development.
A representative from Brazil participated in the #First Generation Forum that was arranged by Sweden in Stockholm in October 2016 where twenty young educators and “connectors” from around the world met. The aim is to find creative and inspiring role models and educators that can step up the pressure in order to ensure that the Goals are met by 2030.
Swedish universities are world renowned for their high quality education and thrilling campus life. There are 14 public universities and 20 public university colleges in Sweden that all offer a variety of higher education courses and programmes. Moreover, two of the oldest universities, Lund University and Uppsala University, rank among the top 100 best universities in the world. In May 2016, top Brazilian and Swedish universities joined together for the 5th SACF Excellence Seminar. It gathered more than 200 leading Swedish and Brazilian researchers, funding agencies and government representatives together with top-level university management, who met in Brasília for a meeting held over the course of two days. The discussions ranged from Life Science and Nanotechnology to Sustainable Development and inclusive education, gender and ethnicity. The meeting established a number of new contacts and networks between the Swedish and Brazilian counterparts and hopefully new academic joint projects will come to fruition.
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, to promote 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. Moreover, the Swedish-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (Swedcham) will organize a Career Fair in São Paulo on the 27th of October, which will be attended by the universities as well as a number of Swedish companies.