“Sweden is a small country with small defence budget. That is why it needs to work smarter than everyone else to build a great defence infrastructure. Saab’s constant endeavour is to advance its technology and collaborate with industries and universities alike”, said Thomas Hammarlund, Director Industrial Cooperation, Saab, at Creative Sweden Showcase Day 1 at Delhi. The event is being organized as a part of the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week 2012 being organized by the Swedish Trade Council and the Embassy of Sweden.
Lars Holberg, Director of International Affairs, Linköping University and a professor from Linköping University, also made a presentation on the skill development options for Indian students at Linköping University.
Lars said that Linköping is a centre of innovation and high technology. It is among the half a dozen places in the world where a military aircraft can be built due to the presence of Saab. Thomas said that Saab’s collaboration with Linköping University is extremely important for the region and also for Saab to grow as an industry. Thomas outlined the journey of Saab in India since the early 70’s to the present day footprint that encompasses partnerships with Mahindra Satyam in the area of civil defence, among others and with Pipavav in the naval sector.
Thomas said that Saab aims at partnering with India to develop technology indigenously.
“Saab has a unique focus on Research & Development”, says Thomas. He said, “22% of total sales of Saab are invested in R&D. Saab does R&D in close cooperation with customers which helps in making the products cost-efficient. Cooperation on R&D with universities helps address market trends and provides market intelligence to students. This is used to develop strategies for commercializing new technology. Also, Saab has a great record for spin-offs. “
Thomas quoted the example of LinkLab, a project taken by Saab in collaboration with Linköping University to explore unmanned vehicles; this led up to the Shark demonstrator, the first autonomous flying platform in Europe. Technique from the Shark demonstrator has been used in Saab’s unmanned vehicle Skeldar, which is on display at Swedish Trade Council during the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week.