ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Swedish firm Saab will launch research and development efforts for sensor technology in the United Arab Emirates under multiple agreements it signed Sunday at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.

Saab will also participate in the educational program Sustain and Enhance Emiratization in Defence and Security, or SEEDS, as part of the agreements it signed with the Tawazun Economic Council and the Tawazun Technology and Innovation business. The council is an organization focused on the defense and security industry, and is charged with developing a locally sustainable sector.

“The SEEDS program in particular offers UAE talent the opportunity to participate in international, value-driven internships and workshops and to positively contribute to their country. This partnership is directly aligned with Saab’s mission to become a vital contributor and partner to the UAE’s defense sector and economy,” a Saab official told Defense News.

The sensor systems would be used for both civil and military applications, according to Saab’s managing director, Anna-Karin Rosén, who was quoted in a company news release.

“Our partnership with Saab is an example of an international partnership that is beneficial for both parties,” Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, the CEO of Tawazun Economic Council, said in the release. “Together, Tawazun and Saab will continue to develop and build up the UAE’s critical technical capabilities and national competencies and skills, fortifying our contribution to the UAE.”

The SEEDS program was launched in February 2019 to provide Emirati nationals at senior and mid-management levels as well as fresh graduates of certain specialties the opportunity to work alongside international defense and aerospace manufacturers.

In March 2020, Emirati defense industry conglomerate Edge Group joined the SEEDS program under a memorandum of understanding signed with the Tawazun Economic Council. Other program partners include Lockheed Martin of the United States; France’s Thales, Nexter Systems, and Naval Group; Canada’s CAE; and Germany’s Diehl Group.