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Saab Global

The power of collaboration

Saab embraces the possibilities of working with external partners to find and develop innovative solutions that will take our company, industry and society further.

Through our history of working with the Swedish state, Saab has always embraced collaboration. But we also collaborate for pragmatic reasons. We accept that we don’t have all the answers or resources within our own walls, so we are ready and willing to work with others to achieve the best results and innovations, and at the same time answer our own strategic needs. 

It’s also true that the Swedish approach to business encourages collaboration. And from Saab’s perspective we see no conflict in competing with a company in one area while being a partner to it in another – because our portfolio of products and services is so broad that this is not an unlikely prospect.

For Saab, collaborating with other companies in smart partnerships is both necessary and desirable. It’s necessary because Saab is just one component in huge defence deals such as the Gripen fighter system or the A26 Blekinge-class submarine. These are multi-year projects that involve national governments, financial institutions, and other industrial producers. And it’s desirable because it’s common sense to choose the best and most cost-effective way wherever possible, for the good of the company, our customers and society.

Interested in collaborating with Saab? Contact us here


Fredrik Kroll
Collaboration is key, and in a rapidly changing world we leverage the power within our periphery
Fredrik Kroll, Head of Saab Start-up Collaborations

Saab and start-ups

We work with start-ups to ensure Saab has the most up-to-date knowledge and skills when developing new products and technologies and to meet the needs that our company and customers have.

We take a systematic approach to what we need internally and to seeking external start-up collaborations. Sometimes we need a start-up’s freedom from established procedures and its agility to pitch, explore and develop new proposals, to act as a complement to our strong delivery culture.

Our Innovation operations group focuses on finding the right partners for Saab, and on removing any barriers to us working together. At the same time, the small companies benefit from Saab's network and we may serve as their first customer.

Identifying the right partners means casting the net wide: going to start-up events, innovation competitions and industry meetups; inviting interested companies to contact Saab via our Innovation home page; and sifting through these new contacts before sending them on to the appropriate business area for their review.

Saab wins Best Start-up Hack and Best Start-up Collaborator at Ignite Awards 2019

Saab was awarded, not one but two awards, during the annual Ignite Sweden Day Conference in Stockholm for our successful collaboration with start-up company Attractive Interactive.

Video - 01:23

Examples of collaborations

Saab is involved in several collaborations and partner networks that help drive innovation, including:

Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program:

This privately funded research programme focuses on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to and learning from their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, forming intelligent systems-of-systems. Software is the main enabler in these systems and is an integrated research theme of the programme.

Saab is a partner in WASP and has several people in the team, while our Chief Technical Oficer Petter Bedoire is a representative on the board. Saab’s involvement with WASP includes the research arena for public safety (WARA-PS), which provides a realistic, large scale and industrially relevant demonstration environment, using scenarios that focus on keeping society and citizens safe. Read more


Amexci is a joint R&D venture by 11 Swedish companies, including Saab. Its goal is to accelerate the use of Additive Manufacturing in industry, by raising awareness of this technology and by supporting customers in their journey to adopt Additive Manufacturing technology, to increase their competitive advantage.

AMEXCI offers its customers the chance to develop their products and people using Additive Manufacturing as the enabler for higher performance and shorter lead times for a more innovative and sustainable future production. Its Karlskoga labs offer additive manufacturing services, material analysis, mechanical testing and customer training. Saab’s Head of Dynamics Görgen Johansson sits on the board, and the development of future materials for the likes of aeroplanes is of particular interest.

Read more

As a trusted partner to Microsoft’s Mixed Reality programme, Saab is creating applications for various hardware platforms, including the Microsoft HoloLens.

Microsoft HoloLens:

In 2016, Saab became one of the first developers invited by Microsoft into the latter’s mixed reality partner programme. Our core development team in Adelaide, Australia, has created applications for the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality and virtual headsets. The Saab development team has also created a wide range of applications for the defence, health care, education, marketing and resources sectors. Read more


Saab is collaborating with Swedish start-up Centropy to research new types of cooling solutions for electronic components. The technology has the potential for great application in, among others, aerospace, automotive, data centres and computers.

CEA Technologies:

Over the past decade, Saab Australia has been collaborating with radar specialists CEA Technologies on several big defence projects. CEA’s radar has been integrated into the 9LV combat system Saab has developed for the Royal Australian Navy’s major surface ships. The 9LV system is also present in many other countries’ naval armouries.


The overall strategic goals of Saab’s university partnerships are:

  • High quality research that has great relevance to industry. We do so by establishing close collaborations within agreed research areas.
  • Undergraduate education that attracts top students and meets Saab’s skills needs.
  • Stronger international partnerships.
  • Cross-fertilisation of ideas between Saab and other strategic partners linked to each institution.

Among the further education partners Saab collaborates with are Linköping University. Today, a large part of Saab’s funding for research and development is invested in Linköping and the university also benefits from this. Many of the university’s students do their degree projects at Saab. The company also offers apprenticeships and has several industrial doctoral students studying at Linköping University.

Other universities that Saab works with include:

  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University, Lund University and FHS Swedish Defence University, in Sweden; and,
  • Aalto University (Finland); Purdue University and Michigan Technological University (both USA).

Research and Technology

The R&T strategy outlines the direction in which Saab focuses competence and technology development to give us the capabilities that give Saab’s products their competitive advantage and market position. Key Saab personnel are active in various national and international forums, boards and other organisations that have an impact on R&T programmes in Sweden and Europe. R&T activities are broken down into technology and scouting; studies of emerging technologies; internal, Saab-only R&T projects; and, Collaborative projects.

Most of our R&T projects are collaborations that are partly funded by external sources, such as the European Union, FMV (the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration) and Vinnova (the Swedish innovation agency, which works closely with Saab and others on, for example, the Swedish National Aeronautics Research Programme, NFFP).

In the civilian sector, R&T focuses on demonstration programmes such as the European research programme Clean Sky, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of the aircraft industry, while also strengthening European collaboration and competitiveness. The civilan programmes also support necessary technological development for defence products.

In the defence sector, the European Union is establishing a European Defence Fund. The EU funds research and co-funds development with EU member states. Two preparatory actions are ongoing and Saab is participating in several projects in both the research and the development windows. The first demonstrator to be given the go-ahead was Ocean 2020, coordinated by Leonardo, where Saab will lead the final Baltic Sea demonstration.

Saab’s EU Affairs and NATO office in Brussels provides a valuable interface for the company with European industry and the European Union, including the European Defence Fund’s Horizon Europe framework programme for research and innovation.


Identifying the right suppliers is crucial, so we can find the right collaborators for complex, multi-dimensional deals. We are always subject to procurement rules in our partnerships, while our Code of Conduct for Suppliers ensures that those we work follow the ten principles set out in the UN Global Compact. Supplier Portal