Research and development in area of defence needs to be strengthened says Inquiry

On 15 December, the Government’s Inquiry Chair Björn von Sydow presented his report ‘Research and development in the area of defence’ to the Government. In his report, Björn von Sydow proposes that SEK 200–300 million be made available for the research and development (R&D) activities of the Swedish Armed Forces to improve operational capabilities.

The Inquiry's remit was to examine how research and development in the area of defence can contribute to the Government's objective of strengthening the operational capabilities of the Swedish Armed Forces, and propose areas where this central government financed research should be conducted. The remit also included reviewing how the findings of civilian research can be used and how Sweden can cooperate internationally.

Increased investment in research and development

To increase the operational capabilities of the Swedish Armed Forces, the Inquiry proposes that, in addition to the funds already allocated for this purpose, a further SEK 200–300 million be made available for R&D activities in the defence field in connection with future defence resolutions. Also, it is proposed that the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) be granted a special basic appropriation of SEK 60 million in addition to the funds the agency currently receives. The Inquiry has also identified a need for research and development, costing the equivalent of SEK 45 million, to support the build-up of the civilian defence sector, which initially concerns activities at FOI and the Swedish Defence University.

Civilian and military cooperation

The Inquiry also presents proposals on increased coordination and collaboration in the field of defence related R&D. This would involve stakeholders both in military R&D activities and in corresponding activities in other fields. Similarly, it proposes that results of civilian research and development be increasingly monitored and evaluated in light of the needs of the Swedish Armed Forces.

In the Inquiry's view, Sweden's bilateral and multilateral defence and security policy cooperation should also be developed.