Airbus promotes cutting-edge technologies and scientific excellence to contribute to global progress and deliver solutions for the challenges posed by such societal issues as environmental protection, mobility, defence and security, and safety. Around the globe, we search for technological excellence, benefitting from competences in key countries.
A culture of creativity
Airbus’ innovative vision
Airbus aims to strengthen its position as a global leader in the aerospace and defence business and to deliver competitive, integrated solutions to its customers while targeting increased revenues and profitability. In doing so, we strive to solidify an innovation culture, to work more globally for all our stakeholders, improve our cultural diversity and promote ethics and transparency within our organisation.
Airbus Innovations – the Airbus network of research facilities, scientists, engineers and partnerships – is at the forefront of research and technology. Through this network, we foster technological excellence and business orientation through the sharing of competences and means between Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters and develop and maintain partnerships with world-famous schools, universities and research centres.
Our Research & Technology strategy goals:
- Shareholder value: a stringent, leading-edge R&T portfolio that enables flawless introduction of new technology on future products and delivers strong Return on Investment
- Customer excitement: high-value solutions that meet the technological, performance, safety and cost-competitive pressures that challenge our future
- Societal responsibility: solutions answering the paramount considerations of mobility, environmental protection, safety and security
- Successful on-time, on-quality, on-price introduction of new products and processes
- Technology leadership to fuel business growth
Latest innovation news
Innovation at the heart: Airbus Innovations publishes regular updates from the world of research and technology.
Building relationships for innovation all around the globe
Airbus Innovations’ international presence is an important element in the Group’s continuing search for technology excellence, enabling it to benefit from competences in key countries
A global network of corporate Research and Technology laboratories
Airbus Innovations operates a global network of corporate Research & Technology (R&T) laboratories that guarantee our innovation potential with a focus on the long term. The structure of the network is consistent with the Airbus R&T strategy and covers the skills and technology fields that are of critical importance to us. Our teams are organised in seven transnational Technical Capabilities Centres:
- Composites Technologies
- Metallic Technologies & Surface Engineering
- Structures Engineering, Production & Aeromechanics
- Engineering, Physics, IT, Security Services & Simulation
- Sensors, Electronics & Systems Integration
- Energy & Propulsion
- Innovative Concepts & Scenarios
Discover Airbus Innovations’ presence around the globe
Airbus Innovations has two main sites in Suresnes (Paris) and Ottobrunn (Munich), while other facilities are maintained in Toulouse, Nantes (France), Hamburg, Bremen and Stade (Germany) to support knowledge transfer to the Airbus’ divisions in these locations. In addition, Airbus Innovations operates centres in Singapore, and Newport and Filton (UK), Getafe (Madrid), Bangalore (India), California (US) and in Moscow (Russia), which facilitates relations with Russia’s scientific institutes.
Airbus Innovations-Russia brings together Airbus expertise with Russian industry and institutions through partnerships, joint ventures and spin-off companies. Coordinated through Airbus’ links with the Moscow region’s Skolkovo high-tech hub, Airbus Innovations-Russia has developed five key pillars for its ongoing research and technology operations in Russia: simulation, materials, energy storage, communications and the Arctic, and in-depth research.
Partnerships and long-term collaboration
The cooperation between Airbus and Russia has led to technologies incorporated across the Airbus business units. This includes the MACROS software tool to help reduce the design time and costs for complex engineering tasks, which results from the Airbus Innovations/Russian joint venture, DATADVANCE. Airbus Innovations also is involved in long-term studies in Russia with the continuous detonation wave engine (CDWE) project, space debris collection, and Airbus Innovations-Russia has created a tool suite for Assembly Simulation for Reliable Processes (ASRP) – used to optimise the wing to centre wing box join-up process on the A350 XWB final assembly line.
Cooperative research ventures
During the past two decades, Airbus has performed nearly 130 cooperative research ventures in Russia in such areas as aerodynamics (flow control and wake vortex), acoustics (noise suppression), supersonic flight (environmental impact assessment), composite (design methods for high load inputs), metallic materials development and modelling of complex physical phenomena. Through its relationship with Skolkovo, Airbus Innovations-Russia has prime access to high-technology companies, government agencies and financial investment opportunities in Russia.
Inaugurated in 2006, Airbus Innovations’ facilities in Singapore were the first Airbus research and technology center outside of Europe. Strategically located at Seletar Aerospace Park, this operation leverages Singapore’s strengths and emphasis on aviation-related MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul), energy management and security – tapping the Asian nation’s capabilities that complement our existing research in these sectors.
MRO technologies and energy management
In the area of MRO technologies, the Singapore focus has covered such areas as wearable computing equipment for increased worker mobility, the application of augmented reality in repair and assembly situations, and the formatting of information for use in mobile devices.
Energy management projects include the study of smart energy management systems for unmanned aerial vehicles with an emphasis on optimizing power network architectures for enhanced system reliability and redundancy. In the security domain, Airbus Innovations-Singapore is pushing the frontiers in realtime embedded technologies for robust and reliable solutions with heterogeneous sensors, embedded platforms and algorithms.
Cooperation with the universities
Singapore also functions as a hub for future Airbus Innovations initiatives in Asia, serving to identify partners, technologies and capabilities with the region’s universities, research institutions and government agencies. Many of the projects at Airbus Innovations-Singapore are performed in close cooperation with scientific institutions such as the DSO National Laboratories, the Defence Science and Technology Agency, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University, along with the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
Airbus Innovations’ American operations are focused in areas such as cyber security, aerodynamics and biofuel and alternative propulsion. The Group's presence in the United States aims to take advantage of the country’s significant research and technology capabilities to enhance our global business, while providing close support to Airbus North America business units with a permanent US research footprint.
Successful partnerships with universities
Airbus Innovations’ US activities have been highlighted by a number of successful partnerships with American universities, institutions and laboratories. These include monitoring the impact of supercooled droplets on aerodynamic surfaces in airflow with Mississippi State University’s expertise in computational fluid dynamics; the ROGUEVIDEO program with the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, to address a critical gap in command and control of first responders; and social modelling with George Mason University in Virginia to adapt to shifting real-world challenges in US border security.
A new innovation centre in California
The activities of Airbus Innovations in the US are based on the campus of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Opened in 2012, this office gives Airbus close proximity to a key high-technology region of the country and enables it to take advantage of a partnership with Cal Poly’s "hands-on," practical learning approach.
Airbus Innovations’ Chinese operations focus on three primary areas: new energy, advanced materials and geographic information system–based services.
The development of new technologies is carried out through the networking of Airbus expertise with potential partners in China, reaching out to Chinese universities and students, while establishing the framework for joint projects between Europe and China.
New energy projects
Airbus Innovations has partnered with over 30 Chinese organizations including Sinopec Group, ENN, China Eastern Airlines and Tsinghua University to tackle new energy projects in the country. The Join the Spirit competition, launched in 2012 by Airbus Innovations, Airbus and ENN, reached out to Chinese student research teams in search of innovative concepts linked to new sustainable energies in the aviation sector.
Research into advanced materials
Working with advanced materials is important part of Airbus Innovations’ Chinese presence, and the organization has collaborated with groups like Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) including Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials (BIAM) or universities such as Ecole Centrale Pekin and the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Beihang University) for research into new materials that could be used across the Airbus business units.
Expanding Airbus Innovations' footprint to Japan and Korea will be another important focus in this region and could allow Airbus to work with local expertise in those countries for electronic devices, energy, materials and robotics.
Airbus Innovations India is well positioned to serve the Group’s overall targets and provide key support to the divisions’ Indian operations. Capitalising on India’s expertise – as well as its relationships with local universities and research institutions – Airbus Innovations India focuses its research activities on big-data analytics, high-performance and distributed computing, computer vision and signal processing.
Supporting a key Airbus priority
With the Group’s growing focus on digitalization, this Indian operation is increasingly concentrating on big-data analytics – with the goal of expanding the company’s overall expertise to help customers and business units find solutions and utilize emerging technologies.
Airbus Innovations India is supporting the development of a toolkit to analyze flight operations data for Airbus on the industry-standard Hadoop big-data platform to provide a scalable solution for analysing the increasing amount of information available from flight data recorders to improve efficiency and safety for airlines.
Another of its data analytics projects was the “data chunks to go” pilot study in 2013 for the European Space Agency (ESA) that investigated methods to process security-sensitive data in the cloud by breaking the information into small pieces.
Partnering with local players
Co-located with Airbus’ engineering unit in Bangalore, Airbus Innovations India also plays a key role in supporting the Group’s local presence. As an example, the team is collaborating with Airbus Defence and Space in India to develop a “cognitive” radar system that offers enhanced detection, identification, and tracking of targets by adapting itself to its operating environment. The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is the academic partner supporting this project – another instance of Airbus Innovations India’s collaboration with local research institutions and universities to benefit from local capabilities in its core areas of research.
The activities of Airbus Innovations in Malaysia are managed through the research consortium Aerospace Malaysian Innovation Centre (AMIC), in which Airbus is a lead partner and joins other key organizations, industrial partners and universities in this government-supported initiative.
Through the AMIC organization, Airbus is expanding its research and technology presence in Malaysia in parallel with the region’s development of its own aerospace and defence activities.
The Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre
Aligned with the strategy of AMIC, Airbus Innovations is researching pioneering technologies in Malaysia with two key focuses: sustainable aviation and advanced manufacturing – which is also known as Factory of the Future.
Malaysia has an abundance of bio-sourced materials that could be well-suited for potential aerospace industry applications – including for sustainable aviation fuels and bio-composite material manufacturing. In the area of sustainable aviation fuels, Airbus Innovations is conducting feasibility studies on producing jet biofuel in Malaysia and integrating its findings into Airbus’s global perspective.
Factory of the Future
Airbus Innovations in Malaysia is developing advanced new material and digital technologies that will transform tomorrow’s factories into centres of innovation and build in-country supply chain capabilities. In particular, Airbus Innovations is utilising its expertise in virtual reality – such as the RHEA tool deployed for the A350 XWB programme – in collaboration with partners to develop software for the training requirements of MARA Aerospace & Technologies.
This research is part of AMIC’s agreements with Malaysian companies and research institutions to explore partnerships in such areas as tooling, composite manufacturing, virtual reality software, as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities.
The Airbus operates across the globe - in fact, in more than 170 locations worldwide. We have invested significant amount of capital in Europe, the US and in emerging countries.
Kindling an entrepreneurial spirit
Airbus is founding a series of spin-off companies and projects to mature and commercialise disruptive capabilities and open new business opportunities for the company.
Starting up ideas: The Airbus Nursery
The Airbus Nursery is an internal incubator that enables the development of innovations which create value for customers outside of the Group’s core businesses.
From the early research and technology stages, the operation helps identify new business ideas from Airbus engineers and inventors and provides these entrepreneurs with support for business modeling, networking and seed funding.
Kick started by the Nursery
Since its creation, the Airbus Nursery has enabled the successful founding of a series of spin-off companies and projects within the Group – including Airbus Technology Licensing, APWorks and Speetect.
Airbus Technology Licensing
As a licensing partner you can benefit from technologies in applications from renewable energy and manufacturing processes to systems for the automotive and aerospace sectors. The broad selection of technologies available for licensing are proven, or have been validated in Airbus’ product development, enabling companies to enhance production, mature their processes, improve performance and increase safety – all while differentiating themselves in the marketplace and opening new opportunities.
APWorks – a 100% Airbus subsidiary – provides consulting and engineering services to external customers for state-of-the-art technologies developed within Airbus Innovations. It is bridging the gap between R&T development and serial production. Besides the commercialisation of technologies such as the DeltaN FS® friction-stir welding system, APWorks offers its deep expertise in Additive Layer Manufacturing (3D printing) to industries such as automotive and robotics.
Speetect is an Airbus self-funded start-up company, which is open to external investors. Also based at the Ludwig Bölkow Campus in Ottobrunn, Munich, the start-up is developing a device for rapid detection of bacteria in water, known as BioDetector, which is capable of detecting the water purity level within 20 minutes, compared to the 48 hours that current Petri dish-based processes need. By 2016, the solution will be ready for specific detection and is intended for food and utilities companies, for example. The potential worldwide market for rapid bio-detection is around €800 million per annum, as well as an extended lifetime for water infrastructure.
Airbus Technology Licensing
Do you want to have more information or start a licensing process? Visit the Airbus Technology Licensing website.
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