General Motors will open a new science office in Trollhättan, Sweden, (the home of Saab) that will expand its research work in the areas of vehicle safety, emissions and advanced manufacturing.

The new Science Office will develop so-called 'centres of expertise' in Sweden and will coordinate all R&D activities and projects. The $US26 million agreement begins in 2005 and will extend until at least the end of 2008.

"GM's extensive network of collaborators in Sweden including universities such as the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Chalmers University, as well as national laboratories and suppliers, is a result of Saab's outstanding work in building relationships. The Swedish government is giving us an excellent opportunity to continue to expand our global network of partners," said Alan Taub, executive director of science at GM Research & Development laboratories in Warren, Michigan.

"This is just a natural evolution of existing collaborative partnerships."

The new commitment between the Swedish government and GM will complement existing Swedish government research and development programmes.

Taub added that, with the support of the Swedish government, Saab engineers will be able to increase their existing network and build on relationships as well as establish working partnerships with new suppliers and technology partners.