Brazil and Sweden have a long-lasting partnership since the 20th century with commodities exportation and the installation of the first telephone in Brazil by Ericsson. But the strategic partnership between the Governments began in 1984 with the Agreement on Economic, Industrial and Technological Cooperation, followed by a Strategic Partnership Action Plan in 2009 renewed as the Strategic Partnership New Action Plan in 2015.
Just after the last Agreement (2015), a High-Level Group (HLG) on Aeronautics was created for shared ambition to further broaden bilateral cooperation on aeronautical to cover both civilian and military projects. In 2016, followed by the successful outcomes achieved by HLG, both Governments decided to also create a Steering Group of Innovation (SGI) to stimulate areas of innovation outside aeronautics. The focal point of both groups is the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation (Näringsdepartementet) on the Swedish side. Until 2019, the former Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce (MDIC) was the focal point of both groups in Brazil, but after the arrival of the new Government in January 2019, MDIC was incorporated in the new “Superministry” of Economy (ME) and the placement of the focal point for HLG was moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE). For the SGI, the focal point will probably be the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication (MCTIC), with some cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy.
The HLG and SGI hold annual meetings but have executive committees under them with the aim to gather key institution representatives of both countries (as for example, funding agency, research agencies and industry representatives). The executive committees have around four meetings per year. Under HLG is the EC (Executive Committee) and under SGI is the ECI (Executive Committee for Innovation).
Focus of SGI
The agenda common for SGI is based on areas where both governments see future needs for development and cooperation, such as bio economy, life science, ICT for smart cities, mining and transports, startups and science parks. On the Swedish side, many of these areas can be found in the five innovation partnership programmes. One of the main objectives of the Office of Science and Innovation in Brazil is to support the ECI.
In both Brazil and in Sweden, a process is ongoing to create forums for collaboration between companies, universities, research institutes and research financiers, regarding the SGI-Agenda. It can be mentioned that on the Brazilian side, two large public institutions have been pointed out as points of contact (POC) in two areas of cooperation; Fiocruz in life science and Embrapa Agroenergia in bioeconomy. Both companies participated in last year’s Innovation Week (November 2018), in workshops with Swedish participants from universities and institutes such as RISE, SLU, Chalmers, Lund University and Karolinska Institute.
Bilateral calls are expected to be launched in 2019 and 2020.