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Strengthening Sweden’s total defense through new research collaboration

Society’s crisis preparedness rests with public and private entities alike. However, the duties and obligations of private companies are not clearly defined, and preparedness is limited. The Swedish Defence University (SEDU), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) are now launching a joint research collaboration to clarify and develop the central role of the business community in Sweden’s total defense, improve collaboration between public authorities and the business community, and strengthen societal crisis preparedness.

Today’s security challenges are both complex and difficult to predict. We find ourselves in a grey area where recurring cyberattacks and attempts to influence information have a significant impact on society. There is also a rapid and ongoing industrial transformation characterized by global competition. It is difficult to predict whether the next threat or challenge will be of a military, technological or economic nature. The public and private sectors are presently not properly prepared to meet their total defense obligations, and are lacking important frameworks and capabilities. SEDU, KTH and SSE are therefore joining forces in a multidisciplinary collaboration on research and education.

Through this collaboration, the institutions plan to conduct research and develop training programs that directly address the challenges and requirements faced by Sweden’s defense and security structure. The aim is to provide key operators from the business community with a clear understanding of what their assignments will be in the case of increased preparedness or war, and develop the skills required in their organizations.

“This unique collaboration adds value by joining our unique skill sets. The aim is to facilitate collaboration between public authorities and the business community, and build a strong total defense”, says Robert Egnell, Vice-Chancellor of SEDU.

The three institutes of higher learning all have expertise in their respective fields that touches on defense and security issues. SEDU is the only university in Sweden with total defense and security issues as its main focus, and extensive assignments from the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. KTH contributes research and training initiatives on cyber security, a clean and safe energy supply, and sustainable industry, energy and production systems. For many years, SSE has collaborated closely with over 130 corporate partners, including those within the defense sector, supporting them in developing strong management practices and fostering cultures of innovation.

The business community – an important aspect of total defense

The main responsibility for society’s preparedness rests with public bodies, but the business community also plays an essential role, as many key functions in society are operated or facilitated by private companies. Duties and obligations of companies on preparedness issues are governed by law and through agreements with public entities. These agreements include the task of maintaining and ensuring continuous deliveries of goods and services to operations that are essential to society, managing unforeseen events that may affect their operations, and protecting sensitive information through effective security procedures.

“The business community has always been an important element in Sweden’s total defense. SSE’s close cooperation with the business community, our research and our extensive experience in executive education are important elements in this cooperation initiative, which aims to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness,” states Lars Strannegård, President of SSE.

Extensive and profound knowledge on how to create reliable systems is essential to analyze weaknesses and develop new solutions to total defense challenges related to secure fuel supply, transports and logistics, flexible production of critical components and secure information services.

“As Sweden’s largest technical university, KTH looks forward to contributing by finding solutions through research and education on cyber security, energy and production systems. Based on our experiences and long tradition of cooperating with the surrounding society, we look forward to strengthening Sweden’s total defense in cooperation with SEDU and SSE,” says Anders Söderholm, President of KTH.

The cooperation initiative will begin immediately, and a working group with representatives from these institutes of higher learning will encourage fast and substantial contributions through joint research and training.

For further information, please contact:

The Swedish Defence University’s press service
+46 709 729 114

Martin Carlsson-Wall
Stockholm School of Economics
Phone: +46 730 440 900
Email: Martin.carlsson-wall@hhs.se

Gunnar Karlsson
Professor, Centre for Cyber Defense and Information Security and Cybercampus Sverige
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Phone: +46 8 790 42 57
Email: gk@kth.se

SSE News Press release