The aeronautics sector is essential for developed countries, not only for design, production and operation of competitive aircraft but also for creating a highly-skilled workforce and technology transfer to other sectors. In a globalized world there is a strong need for strategic cooperation in this very competitive field between countries with similar political agendas and background.

The Swedish aeronautics actors within research and innovation are delighted that a joint call between UK and Sweden has now materialized after long preparations on technical content, funding and procedure.

Our two countries have a long tradition of cooperation in aeronautics, both in the military and civil domains, with Swedish companies delivering parts to Rolls-Royce and Airbus in the civil sector and many British companies delivering components and systems to the Swedish fighter aircraft Gripen.

Discussions between the ATI and Innovair started a couple of years ago, with a focus on understanding the other country’s long-term strategies. Thereafter, a Swedish delegation visited various UK facilities including the ATI headquarters, catapult centres, and industries and research centres within universities. A British return visit to Sweden brought high-level representatives from the leading aeronautics companies and meetings were organized with their Swedish counter parts.

British excellence in the aeronautics sector is well known and our partners are looking forward to increased cooperation between our two countries, with the aim of expanding relations between OEMs and Tier 1 supply chain companies, but also to fostering more intense involvement by SMEs. By working together, both countries will be gaining access to skills, facilities and infrastructure that might not be available to them individually – it is a ‘win win’ for both the UK and Swedish aerospace sectors.

On a personal note, I like to thank all our colleagues at ATI, Innovate UK and BEIS, as well as Vinnova, the Swedish Innovation Agency, for helping to create the funding call.

Dr Anders Blom is Programme Director for Innovair, Sweden’s strategic innovation programme for aeronautics. The ATI would like to thank Dr Blom for this guest blog.

To learn more about the UK-Sweden funding call, please visit here.

An information and matchmaking event will take place in Stockholm on 7th September – more details are here.