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Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff met this Tuesday (31st) with SAAB’s administrative board director, Marcus Wallemberg. The Swedish company will produce and deliver 36 Gripen NG fighter jets for the Brazilian Air Force. According to Wallemberg, the joint project between the two nations will allow technology transfer into Brazil’s aeronautical industry.
Wallemberg said the main point discussed with president Rousseff was the deal regarding the “concrete possibility to move forward” with the Swedish aircraft initiative “in order to have the Brazilian industry participate more in this project”.
In an official translation of the meeting published by the Brazilian government, the director said “we have joint convergence when it comes to our mutual cooperation, and the importance of assuring that it evolves according to plan, which, in turn, will guarantee technology transfer to the Brazilian aeronautical industry”.
SAAB’s representative, who also presides administrative boards of other investment companies in Sweden, contemplated that, despite the current economic crisis in Brazil, it will be possible to fetch up the money invested in the country. “Although Brazil is, in fact, going through a moment of adjustment and economical rearrangement, we believe that; still, at some point, the investments made here will be retrieved”.
Besides reaffirming that the first jet will be concluded by 2019, Wallemberg showed optimism regarding the Brazil-Sweden partnership for the next years. According to him, Brazilian engineers will be sent to Sweden to assimilate the technology employed on the aircraft production line as soon as the factory facilities start to be built. “Investments [for the construction] will be made soon”, he said.
Brazil’s Cience and Techonlogy Minister reinforces importance of research and inovation partnership with Sweden
Brazil’s minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Aldo Rebelo, also had a meeting with Marcus Wallemberg last Tuesday. At the occasion, both parties discussed the technology transfer process associated with the construction and delivery of the Gripen NG to the Brazilian Air Force.
Back in 2013, the Rousseff administration announced the deal to purchase 36 fighter jets from Swedish company SAAB, part of the Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) group. “In recent years, there has been a two-way effort to accomplish this fighter jets deal, but it was only possible because we have a solid history of cooperation between Brazil and Sweden”, Rebelo said.
“This partnership in the aviation area is a highlight in our bilateral ties in terms of longevity, depth and trust. I believe that today we reaffirm and renew our friendship and cooperation ties”, he added.
Wallemberg informed that the SEB group places aeronautics as a priority research area, and remarked that the development project for the Gripen should happen in both countries simultaneously.
“Saab will take 150 Brazilian engineers to Sweden, where they will study the aircraft’s technology. So these professionals may return home and take part in the manufacturing, assembling and development stages at the production line”, he explained.
He also emphasized Brazil’s “vast experience” in commercial aircraft manufacturing, and argued that this bilateral cooperation can bring to Brazil the latest generation of defense technology and know-how.
“This strategic relationship we are starting should go on for at least 30 years. It’s a project that, as every fighter jet, develops continuously, and that is why we must bring Brazilian industry and universities along in this journey”.
Also during the meeting, the Sweden’s ambassador in Brazil, Per-Arne Hjelmborn, informed that the Swedish minister of Industry and Innovation, Mikael Damberg, has a visit to Brazil scheduled to happen between May 20th and May 22nd – he is expected to meet with other Brazilian ministers. The purpose of the visit will be to discuss ways to broaden scientific cooperation between both nations in areas such as mining, and paper and cellulose.
Qualified workforce and interchange
Marcus Wallemberg also talked about the SEB Group offering a professor’s chair in the Brazilian Aeronautics Technological Institute (ITA in Portuguese), “[this is] the first step in our long-term relations, as a symbol of our intentions to bring more knowledge to the aeronautics sector”, he said.
According to the executive secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, Alvaro Prata, by offering this chair, SEB will fund the work of a Swedish scientist at ITA for a certain amount of time, while the professor “does their research, provides guidance to students, give courses and works at aeronautical engineering labs”.
Wallemberg also reminded that Saab supports the deal signed back in 2012 between Brazil’s National Technological Development Council (CNPq/MCTI) and the Brazilian-Swedish Research and Innovation Center (Cisb), which provides 100 scholarships for doctorate and post-doctorate students, as well as senior researchers through the Brazilian government’s Science Without Borders program. At its fourth edition, the initiative has already sent 40 Brazilian citizens to Swedish universities.
Subscriptions for this year’s edition end on May 15th, and the 15 scholarships offered are for the aeronautics area, especially Electronics, Materials and Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering and Information and Communication Technologies.
Researchers who win these scholarships will develop their projects in top class universities, and can also take part in internships and projects at Saab. At the moment, 166 Brazilians study in Sweden thanks to the Science Without Borders program.
The CISB was created in 2011, in the city of São José dos Campos, in the state of São Paulo, and its main goal is to find and support high-tech projects. Its operation standards are inspired by Swedish industrial complexes. The center acts as a catalyst and manager for the cooperation network between Brazil and Sweden.
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