Hamburg’s ZAL Center for Applied Aeronautical Research and the National Research Council of Canada’s Aerospace Research Centre sign collaboration agreement at Paris Air Show

Hamburg, the largest aviation site in Germany, and Canada, one of the world’s leading aerospace nations, are expanding their research cooperation. A framework agreement was signed in the presence of leading representatives of the ZAL Center for Applied Aeronautical Research and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) at this year’s biggest aviation trade fair, the Paris Air Show (17 – 23 June 2019). In 2017, the institutions launched two joint research projects regarding acoustics in the aircraft cabin and composite fiber materials. Now, the cooperation is being expanded to cover other areas of research.

With this agreement, ZAL and the NRC will be expanding their research collaboration into other forward-looking areas such as the development of new maintenance and data evaluation methods in aircraft design (“digital twinning”) as well as urban air mobility.

The agreement was signed by Roland Gerhards, Managing Director of ZAL GmbH and François Cordeau, Vice-President, Transportation and Manufacturing Division, NRC.

“In ZAL, the National Research Council of Canada has found the perfect partner for expanding transatlantic cooperation. Hamburg’s open and cooperative innovation culture is engaging with the comprehensive expertise of one of the leading aerospace nations. Application-oriented research and sharing the knowledge gained are essential in view of the topics that are shaping the future of aviation,” comments Hamburg’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation, Senator Michael Westhagemann, on the signing of the agreement at Le Bourget.

“Since the opening of ZAL in 2016, we have guided a whole row of successful collaboration projects to take-off. It is always our goal to extend this principle internationally, and the German-Canadian projects researching cabin acoustics and fireproof composites are already bearing fruit. I am proud that we can now roll out the cooperation between our two locations at a national level, enabling us to benefit from one another,” says ZAL Managing Director Roland Gerhards.

“Canada and Germany have a long standing history of research and funding collaborations, both on the academic and private sector side and in 2017, the Government of Canada signed a Joint Declaration of Intent to recognize the existing partnerships between both countries and commit to more collaborations on research and development, and technological innovation initiatives. This international strategic partnership with ZAL reinforces our commitment to positioning ourselves as a global leader in advancing research and innovation,” says the President of the National Research Council of Canada, Iain Stewart. 

“I am delighted to be expanding our research collaboration with ZAL, which will provide a framework to develop a technology roadmap for tackling R&D challenges faced by the aerospace industry and developing future focus areas. Germany is a key international partner for the National Research Council of Canada and this is another step in deepening our collaboration with German research organizations and partners,” added the National Research Council of Canada’s Vice-President of Transportation and Manufacturing, François Cordeau. 

Transatlantic research started in 2017

Since 2017, the transatlantic research partners have been working together on questions of passenger comfort. One way of reducing cabin noise is to use conventional thermo-acoustic insulation. In the low frequency range, however, these are accompanied by significant weight disadvantages. Non-conventional materials, such as acoustic meta-materials, offer better acoustic insulation at lower weight. The goal of the research consortium is to bring these materials to a higher level of technological maturity. In addition, the partners from both sides of the Atlantic are working together on new fireproof composite fiber components. The aim is to make composites used in aircraft safer, environmentally friendlier and above all lighter. The program, part of the high-tech strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is receiving government and commercial funding from both Germany and Canada.

ZAL together with Hamburg Aviation in Le Bourget

The ZAL and the Aviation Cluster Hamburg Aviation will jointly exhibit at the Paris Air Show, Hall 2a/Booth C 280.