Opportunities for transnational cooperation
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection together with the DLR Project Management Agency for Aeronautics Research gave participants at the "LuFo Info Day 2022" event on 5 April 2022 the opportunity to exchange views on the present and future of civil aeronautics research in Germany and beyond, and to join forces on the path to the aviation of the future through networking.
The sixth civil aeronautics research programme (LuFo VI), which runs from 2020 to 2024, is based on ACARE's Strategic Research Agenda (SRIA) and the German government's aeronautics strategy. (Source: Website of the DLR Project Management Agency for Aeronautics Research)
Great interest in transnational cooperation projects
The DLR Project Management Agency for Aeronautics works with international partners on research activities. Possible collaborations can be entered into by means of collaborative partnerships without public funding, on a commercial "give & take" basis, or by means of transnational collaborative partnerships, e.g. Austrian/German, Swedish/German projects, with public funding.
In addition to the Austrian Ministry for Climate Protection, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom presented their thematic research programmes.
Examples of previous transnational cooperation between Austria and Germany are projects such as SHReC (TAKE OFF) and Fiona (LuFo) or AVaiL-AT (TAKE OFF) and AVail-DE (LuFo).
The United Kingdom, with its "ATI Programme", is investing more than 1 billion British pounds over the next three years in advanced technologies needed for climate-neutral flying. The importance of strategic collaborative projects within Europe and the strong cooperation in the Horizon Europe programme were particularly emphasised.
Presentation of the Aeronautics Research Network
During the event, the Aeronautics Research Network was presented, which offers the possibility to set up a business profile after registration. It promotes professional exchange and offers support in the search for suitable research partners for innovative research ideas.
The link to the Aeronautics Research Network can be found here.
Theses, trends and future research needs from workshops and expert discussions
The evaluation of workshops and expert discussions of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) on individual topics such as zero emissions, hydrogen technology incl. fuel cells, electric flying, gas turbine technology and alternative concepts revealed ideas, necessities and research needs that represent important topics for the future LuFo VI programme.
Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence or cyber security are also becoming increasingly important, as is cross-sectoral knowledge building and the use of synergy effects.
Aerospace networks in Germany
In addition to the national networks of the BDLI (German Aerospace Industries Association) and the Supply Chain Excellence Initiative, Germany has regional networks for networking and continuous development of measures and offerings. The results of a recent survey of the networks revealed an acute need for action in areas such as personnel recruitment and financing. For example, the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic have led to a reprioritisation of research activities, which is also reflected in the current development of the BDLI's technology roadmap, which aims at a paradigm shift.
The goal is a paradigm shift from purely economically determined competitiveness to ecology and economy.
According to the BDLI, the major challenge is to achieve shorter development cycles and more efficient processes with increasingly complex products and technologies.
Germany's research and teaching at the 9 technically-oriented universities with a proven aviation focus range from basic research in the field of eco-efficient flying to prototype applications in cooperative joint projects. For example, students are already working on solutions to make climate-neutral flying possible in the "NASA/DLR Design Challenge".
The inter-university preliminary design software "UNICADO", which was funded by previous LuFo programmes, enables processes for efficient collaboration and is to be extended by models in further development to provide information on blended wing-body configurations.