Input of the Swedish government on bilateral relations with Brazil

In May, Jacob Paulsen was appointed the new head of the science and innovation office of the Swedish Embassy in Brazil. Graduated in civil engineering from KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Paulsen assumes the position, which is directly related to the Swedish Ministry of Industry and Trade, for four years

The simple fact that the science and technology office was established in Brazil demonstrates the strength of relations with Sweden. There are only four other units worldwide, located in the USA, India, China and South Korea and Japan (the latter two countries are represented by a single Office).

"We have ties with Swedish companies in Brazil, mainly in the area of innovation, but we also work with industry, government, and academia, in addition to funding agencies such as Finep and CNPq," says Paulsen. Despite the advanced relations, there is still a lot of work to do. "The major challenge is to understand and map out everything that is happening in both countries in the area of science," he says.

Paulsen points out that the project also involves strengthening the mobility programmes, including student exchanges at several levels, from undergraduates to post-doctoral researchers, between the two countries. According to him, Brazilians have much to contribute with the Swedes mainly in the areas of bio-economy, biofuels, and agriculture. "On the other hand, Sweden has a lot to transfer in a range of sectors, especially in relation to smart cities," he says.

The new director has solid personal and professional experience in sustainability, which he believes will be very helpful in this position. "My experience in sustainability is not limited to the environmental sector. It also involves social and economic issues. This foundation helps me to better understand Brazilian conditions and think about my role in establishing a strong connection between the two countries," he states.

Another positive factor is that Paulsen had already been living in Brazil for seven years and working, among other things, as a visiting professor at the University of Brasilia and with a sustainability consulting firm.