Signal: Saab accelerating into the AI future with CrowdAI acquisition

The strategic move bolsters Saab's AI and ML integration position by acquiring the Silicon Valley-based AI company, as the US dominates the AI workforce.

Harry McNeil September 08 2023

In a stride towards embracing the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the defence industry, Saab has completed its acquisition of CrowdAI, a Silicon Valley-based AI company. 

CrowdAI's practical, user-friendly, no-code platform for mission-specific AI will play a role in Saab's transformation.

Strengthening Saab's AI portfolio

Saab has relentlessly pursued proactive acquisitions and strategic partnerships to usher in disruptive technologies like AI and ML. The addition of CrowdAI is emblematic of this forward-thinking approach, poised to integrate AI and ML technologies within Saab's portfolio. Notably, future operations will be centred in San Diego, California.

"This acquisition is another step in our international growth strategy as we seek to ensure Saab is well positioned in key markets and to sustain our competitive advantage. CrowdAI will help Saab enhance our existing portfolio with AI/ML capabilities and, together with the recent acquisition of BlueBear in the United Kingdom, is another example of how we are meeting the emerging needs of our customers," remarked Micael Johansson, President and CEO at Saab.

CrowdAI has garnered recognition for leveraging dual-use computer vision for military applications. Collaborations with the US military have propelled CrowdAI into the public eye of defence companies.

Devaki Raj, CEO and co-founder of CrowdAI expressed enthusiasm about the merger, saying, "Joining Saab is a momentous step for us. As part of Saab, the team we've built will open new doors for dual-use technological advancement that aligns with the Department of Defense's priorities. I'm eager to contribute to Saab's important work across industries and markets."

Devaki will be taking on a pivotal role as the chief digital and AI officer in Saab's newly established strategy office based in San Diego.

A geographical advantage in the AI workforce

The synergy between Saab and CrowdAI comes when the aerospace and defence sector is witnessing a surge in AI and ML job opportunities. According to GlobalData's Job Analytics database, there are currently 560 active jobs in machine learning and 1,973 active jobs in artificial intelligence within the aerospace and defence sector. 

Source: GlobalData

These figures illustrate the industry's increasing reliance on AI and ML technologies.

Moreover, the United States geographically leads the charge in AI jobs in the aerospace and defence sector, with 1,626 active jobs, 10,080 posted jobs, and 10,257 closed jobs in the last year. This dominance in expertise and skills within the AI workforce positions US-based companies such as CrowdAI favourably for Saab, a Swedish-based defence company. 

The synergy between CrowdAI's expertise and the US AI talent pool augments Saab's AI endeavours well.

Source: GlobalData

As AI and ML take centre stage in the defence industry, nearly 10,000 AI patents have been secured in the aerospace and defence sector over the past three years, as per GlobalData's Patent Analytics.

Saab's moves, including the acquisition of CrowdAI, are propelling the defence industry towards a future where AI and ML will play an integral role in safeguarding nations.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData's Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors, and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.

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