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ZAL TechCenter © ReGe Hamburg/ Martin Kunze

Hamburg to become seat of DLR

Forward-looking research infrastructure to be set up in ZAL TechCenter - senate agrees on funding

The senate agreed Tuesday on funding to ultimately make Hamburg the home state of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and to establish forward-looking research in the ZAL TechCenter as well as the required infrastructure. Emphasis will be on two main themes – virtual, overall development and 3D printing in aircraft construction, said Frank Horch, Senator for Economics.

DLR institutes to move to ZAL

Horch added: “Hamburg aims to expand its leading position as a place for developing, integrating and finishing in aviation. That urgently requires the further expansion of research competence and innovative power already in the location.”

The future of aviation in Hamburg, the world’s third largest aviation centre, relies on speed and excellence in developing innovative, products and processes that are key to successful, international competitiveness. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has a 10 per cent share in ZAL. However, DLR has had only two branches in Hamburg – namely the “Human Factors in Aviation” and the Institute of Air Transportation Systems, which is a collaborative venture with the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, so far. Now, the institutes will move to ZAL in 2017. The ZAL TechCenter is the joint research platform for those in the aviation cluster. ZAL’s nine shareholders include Airbus und Lufthansa Technik, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), universities, small and mid-sized companies as well as the City of Hamburg.

City invests EUR 2 million in research infrastructure

The German Bundestag’s budgeting committee increases DLR’s basic funding by an annual EUR 42 million of which EUR 9 million go towards thematic areas in Hamburg. This has facilitated DLR’s move to ZAL and making Hamburg its home state. The issues of Industry 4.0 and 3D printing will top the agenda of interdisciplinary work in Hamburg. As cross-sectional technology, 3D printing can transform component construction and related processes and value added chains. DLR will contribute specialised skills in design and approval.

When the institutes start working in ZAL, Hamburg will provide EUR 2 million in funds for a mobile robotic platform and virtual reality technology and from 2018 EUR 1.6 million in annual funding as home state of DLR.

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