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Collaboration between Aalto and Saab: high-level research and product development go hand in hand

Ten-year contract enables long-term research collaboration. Ten projects are now under way.
Mikko Leino_ELEC
Antenna technology is one of the prominent areas in research cooperation. Photo is taken in Aalto University's anechoic chamber. Image: Aalto University/Unto Rautio

In 2017, Aalto University and the defence and security company Saab concluded a ten-year collaboration contract with the aim of strengthening and deepening their research collaboration, especially in long-term sensor technology research.

The second annual research seminar organised by Aalto University and Saab was held in August to present the latest research developments. Ten research projects are currently in progress.

‘We have made good progress and the participants have been enthusiastic. We are now beginning to see the first concrete research results: high-quality publications and technology demonstrators’, says Petteri Alinikula, Research Leader at Saab.

The research community comprises professors, postdoctoral researchers and students working on their doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis. Represented fields include cognitive systems, microwave and sensor technologies, space technology and hydroacoustics. During the ten-year contract period, the collaboration programme is expected to be expanded with new topics. 

aalto saab research day Hanasaari
Experts from Aalto and Saab attended the annual Research Day in Espoo, Finland in August.

‘Saab's long-term commitment to research is essential to our collaboration. The ten-year contract makes it possible to conduct genuinely long-term research in research areas that are important to both parties and provides suitable conditions for creating scientific breakthroughs and new innovations’, says Jyri Hämäläinen, Dean of the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering.

Saab is known as a company that values research: the company reinvests 25% of its total revenue in research and development. The company also has extensive experience of working in close cooperation with universities and research institutes.

‘Our products are complex systems with a long lifetime of up to 20–30 years. Investing in research in key areas of technology ensures that our future product generations will also be competitive’, says Alinikula.

Industrial PhD programme combines science and product development

One of the forms of collaboration is the Industrial PhD doctoral programme funded by Saab. Three doctoral candidates from Aalto University are currently participating in the programme. The candidates will complete their doctoral dissertation at Aalto University while working in Saab's product development projects.

‘I think the programme works well. There’s enough freedom and time to conduct the research, but the company also has a clear demand for the results’, says Jouko Kinnari, one of the doctoral candidates participating in the Industrial PhD programme.

Kinnari's research project examines the use of unmanned autonomous drones in surveillance applications. Kinnari had already worked in industrial product development before beginning his doctoral studies.

‘When universities and companies collaborate, there are excellent opportunities for creating revolutionary product innovations. I wanted to participate to see what the process could lead to. The programme will also expand my skills in a very concrete manner’, Kinnari states.

 

Read more about the Aalto and Saab cooperation agreement >>

More information about the collaboration:

Mirella Lähteenmäki
Head of Corporate Relations
[email protected]
+358 40 3538341

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