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New agreement between LiU and Saab

Håkan Buskhe och Helen Dannetun
To enthusiastic applause, Linköping University Vice-Chancellor Helen Dannetun and Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe signed an agreement to continue the close collaboration between the university and Saab.

Linköping University would probably not exist at all, if Saab was not building airplanes in Linköping 40 years ago. And Saab might not have evolved into a world-leading defence and security company if they had not had such easy access to expertise, solid research and well-trained human resources.

So when they signed the strategic partnership agreement, the two parties were simply confirming a 40-year history of collaboration.

Saab is already involved at Linköping University, with representatives in programme boards and programme councils. A large number of students do their graduation project at Saab. And many do internships and doctoral studies at Saab.

“It is crucial that our degrees are relevant to the business sector. It motivates the students and makes them more attractive on the job market,” says the vice-chancellor.

For Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe, the agreement is a matter of survival.

“Saab invests SEK 6.5 million annually on R&D, and much of that money ends up in Linköping. Going it alone is a bad idea, and the initiative we’re kicking off today will bear fruit for many years into the future,” he explained.

Some of the collaborative projects currently underway were presented by the three Linköping professors who received the Åke Svensson research award: Fredrik Gustafsson, professor of sensor informatics, Petter Krus, professor of fluid and mechatronic systems and Patrick Doherty, professor of artificial intelligence. All three highlighted the collaborations that have been ongoing since the early 1990s, with results such as robot systems that can orient without GPS, security systems that prevent wildlife poaching in Africa, concept models of airplanes with dramatically lower weight and fuel consumption, and robots that can find people in distress after a disaster, and then make their own decisions.

“Collaboration is about people, with shoes,” said Lena Eliasson, Head of Group Human Resources at Saab.

“Now we have to make mobility easier, so researchers can work at Saab and so Saab employees can do research for a while. We also want to make it easier to measure the exchange of shoes, because if you measure it, it gets done.”


Photo: Annika Johansson


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Last updated: 2017-02-13