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Hamburg's Aviation Industry Celebrates Topping-Out Ceremony of ZAL TechCenter

In one of the world's most modern research sites for civil aviation, industry and academia will jointly conduct research by 2015, using high-end test rigs in six technical domains.

Once completed, the 25,000 squaremetre facility of ZAL will be home to almost 600 engineers and scientists , who will develop innovative, industrially viable products for the aviation industry. The concept takes into account the changing work environment of the 21st century, encouraging the early involvement of partners from various stages along the value creation chain as well as an open culture of innovation. This concept is also reflected in the list of partners in ZAL, which encompasses the entire spectrum of northern German aviation, including Airbus, Lufthansa Technik, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), all four major Hamburg universities, and 14 other players.

Research in six technical domains

ZAL’s future tenants will have access to absolute high-end test infrastructures in six “Technical Domains”, including a fuel cell lab, fuselage and cabin test rigs, and one of the aircraft manufacturing industry’s largest acoustic laboratories. There will also be a virtual reality lab for 30 people, a conference center including a 200-seat auditorium, and an innovation market where new developments can be put on public display and tried out. The construction and development costs of ZAL of 82.4 million euro are being financed by the partners, and not by the tax payer. Headedy by ReGe Hamburg, E. Zueblin has been contracted a general construction company.

Science, academia, and industry to co-operate

ZAL constitutes the joint research and development platform within Hamburg Aviation,” said Senator Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation, at the ceremony. “It is a research center, a driving force, and a source of inspiration, serving as a coordinator for the various actors. Its tasks consist of making the cluster participants’ R&D competencies more transparent, promoting cooperation, assisting in publicly funded projects, and developing its own competencies in applied aeronautical research.”

“We are pleased to celebrate this major milestone today, and will continue to dedicate our full strength to completing the research center according to plan,” said ZAL Managing Director, Roland Gerhards. “ZAL will bring a sustained boost and focus to Hamburg’s international standing in civil aviation. The fact that we have already rented out 80 per cent of the available space more than a year before completion, and that our primary tenant, Airbus, has already committed itself for ten years, shows very clearly how strongly our partners believe in the concept.”

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About ZAL

ZAL – Hamburg’s Center for Applied Aeronautical Research – is the technological research and development network of the civil aviation industry in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. It functions as an interface between academic & research institutions, the aviation sector, and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, aimed at securing and continually expanding the world’s third largest civil aviation location in Hamburg. Working together closely with the aviation cluster, Hamburg Aviation, ZAL bundles the technological competence of the city in a single facility, the ZAL TechCentre, thereby creating synergy. ZAL’s focus is on the integration and industrialisation of aviation technologies. To achieve this, ZAL networks industry and science, establishing an application-oriented think-tank culture, and making the very latest research and development infrastructure available to its partners.

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