Swedish Defence Research Agency
Swedish Defence Research Agency (Swedish: Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI) is a government agency in Sweden for defence research that reports to the Ministry of Defence. It has its headquarters in Kista, Stockholm and other locations in Grindsjön south of Stockholm, Linköping and Umeå. The activities of FOI include research, development of technology and analysis, primarily for military defence, but also for civil emergency, security and other civilian applications.
In 2011, FOI employed around 950 people.
FFA had been created in 1940 in Bromma, Stockholm as a governmental research institute for the Swedish aviation industry, large parts of which were devoted to military aircraft.
FOA had been created in 1945 from three existing organisations:
- The Swedish Armed Forces Chemical Institute (Försvarsväsendets kemiska anstalt, FKA), a government agency created in 1937 and located in Ursvik, Sundbyberg Municipality. FKA had predecessors in chemical warfare and chemical warfare protection activities conducted at Lund university from 1926 and Uppsala university from 1928.
- The Military Physics Institute, a collaboration organisation between the Swedish universities' physics departments started in 1941 as an initiative to put modern physical knowledge at the disposal of Sweden's defence during World War II.
- A part of the government agency Swedish Board of Inventions (Statens uppfinnarnämnd, SUN). In 1942, SUN had started a unit concerned with radar experiments, in an effort to combine all Swedish radar-related research in one organisation.
Soon after FOA was created in 1945, the organisation was tasked to investigate the novel invention of nuclear weapons for the Swedish armed forces. This included both protection activities, and investigations and preparations for a possible Swedish nuclear weapon program. In the 1950s and 1960s, this constituted a considerable part of FOA's activities. After Sweden signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968, the remaining nuclear development activities were dismantled, and only protection research remained in the nuclear area.
Initially, all FOA's divisions were located in the Stockholm region, but in the 1970s, some parts were relocated to Karlstad, Linköping and Umeå.
In the early 2000s, activities at FOI have been scaled back as a cost-saving measure. When FOI was created in 2001 from FOA and FFA, the number of employees stood at around 1,300, but in 2007, this had been reduced to around 1,000.
In 2005, several of FOI's activities in the Stockholm region were moved to a common location in Kista.