Team Sweden – a trusted technology partner
The United States provides the gold standard of the defense technology sector and is determind to continue to do so well into the future. As it embarks on a third offset strategy – commonly referred to as the Defense Innovation Initiative – to maintain and advance its preeminence in military affairs, Team Sweden stands ready to assist with knowledge and technology to the extent that the United States finds it useful. This is in our enlightened self-interest, as the strengths and resources of the United States are a force for good in world affairs.
The United States plays an indispensable role to uphold the values and principles of a liberal international order and remains the bedrock of the European security structure. Due to the deteriorating security environment in Europe’s eastern and southern neighborhoods, the role of the United States as a European power is more important now than ever before in the post-Cold War era. Thus a forward-looking approach from the United States to defense innovation is clearly in Sweden’s interest.
Sweden as a collaborating country
Being a small country of only 10 million people, Sweden is rather well adept to be a partner for innovations in general and for defense innovations in particular. We like to think that we punch above our weight in this sector. Innovation starts with ideas and knowledge. To support it, Sweden has the most PhDs in the world per capita, in technical and natural-science subjects and the second most who work in this area.
Sweden also tends to score well in international comparative surveys on innovation (Sweden placed number one in the world in recent time on all of the following global surveys: Innovation Union Scoreboard, Global Innovation Index, Innovation Capacity Index,Knowledge Economy Index, Networked Readiness Index, Global Creativity Index).
The Defense Innovation Initiative emphasizes the importance of of engagement with the commercial sector. In this regard, Sweden has a rather unique industrial landscape. No other country of a similar size, possibly with the exceptions of Switzerland and Israel, has so many large high-tech multinational companies. ABB, Atlas Copco, Electrolux, Ericsson, Saab, Scania, Securitas, SKF and Volvo are cases in point.
The resource limitations that come from being a small country has led us to work very closely within the Triple Helix model where industry, academia and government agencies work hand in hand on cost-efficient innovation models. Within this Triple Helix, there is intensive collaboration on the technologies connected to the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as artificial intelligence, robotics, Big Data and the Internet of Things.
Neither is there any other country in the world of comparative size with a defense industrial base that can design and produce platforms such submarine, advanced radar systems and fighter aircrafts. However, none of this would be possible if it were not for the strong transatlantic link that Sweden maintains with the United States. A strong bond across the Atlantic and technology transfer have been indispensable parts of the Swedish defense industrial base. Sweden has also been fortunate to enjoy strong US support in this area. After the United Kingdom and Germany, Sweden has been the largest recipient of funding from the Foreign Comparative Testing Program during the last decades.
Now, as the United States is in part entering a new chapter by launching the Defense Innovation Initiative, Team Sweden stands ready to support it. We think that the ability to provide a combination of strong commercial and defense sectors puts us in a good situation to do so. The short presentations enclosed intend to provide innovation snapshots, and we hope to contribute with evermore – as a trusted technology partner to the United States. The technology areas has been selected by their ability to match up to the Defense Innovation Initiative particularly in the areas nanotechnology/miniaturization, automation and Big Data.