Sweden Brazil Innovation Initiative

One of the few certainties in the world to come is that the need for innovation and collaboration will be greater than ever. In different areas, the challenges will arise leading humanity on a path of knowledge exchange in pursuit of common goals. In order to face this scenario, the Sweden Brazil Innovation Initiative (SBII) was created by Sweden’s innovation agency, Vinnova, responsible for the movement of the country's innovative capacity, financing and coordinating different initiatives.

The initiative has partners such as RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, which brings together several Swedish research centers under one institution, optimizing resources and facilitating the implementation of projects; the Swedish Science and Innovation Office, present at the country's Embassy in Brasilia, which aims to strengthen Swedish connections with the rest of the world with regard to international strategic science, innovation and higher education; and CISB.

Regina Summer, Program Manager at Vinnova, is responsible for the agency's cooperation with Brazil and Canada. The executive explains the main reasons that lead Sweden to seek partnerships with other countries: “Sweden is a great innovative country with amazing ecosystems. Never the less we are small in size and compete with giants in the international scene. This is one of the reasons that we have many international collaborations, but many of these collaborations have been in silos.”

Until the founding of SBII, projects were spaced out, without a unifying vision. Vinnova's desire is to have a synchronized collaboration system that allows the creation of long-term relationships with countries, companies and researchers. “It is at this moment that having a partner already established in the region, as is the case with CISB, helps a lot,” explains Regina.

This position is corroborated by Jacob Silva Paulsen, Director of the Office of Science and Innovation, who sees the SBII as a forum for companies to discuss ideas and define common points, to be worked on together. "Another very positive point is that companies [from Brazil and Sweden] can come together and use the strength of a group instead of a single organization," he comments.

In addition, with the collaborative environment that culminated in the SBII, Paulsen sees the possibility that, in the long run, companies will have access to research and development projects in a triple helix co-creation model. “In this model, public funding agencies finance part of applied research through universities and research centers, which will later become industrialized products.”

Regina adds that these long-term relationships focus not only on the business itself, but on lasting partnerships. With this positioning, it is easier to start a project, however small, but because of the connection between those involved it becomes easier to grow and scale.

On the Brazilian side, CISB works to integrate several initiatives. “We are ready to share all of our expertise in the dialog with the industry, as well as to engage our entire network of relationships in Brazil and Sweden, with a long-term view of cooperation,” explains Alessandra Holmo, Managing Director at CISB.

In addition to facilitating collaboration, CISB has been carrying out communication work that unfolds on multiple platforms, such as hotsite, social medias and newsletter, which helps the dissemination of the initiative and has attracted more and more stakeholders.

“This is how we hope to reach high-level partners together, preserving access to Sweden's rich innovation environment,” concludes Regina Summer.