MUNICH Bavaria's Vice Minister of Economic Affairs, Franz Josef Pschierer, sees a new funding project as further proof of Augsburg's expertise in the field of lightweight construction. Pschierer explains: "We are funding a development project for new and cost-effective production processes for the European carrier rocket Ariane. We have important players on board, including the European Space Agency, the Space Travel Management division of the German Aerospace Center and MT Aerospace AG." In order to make the next Ariane generation more competitive to launch, he says, it is important to build the carrier systems in lightweight construction, while still manufacturing them cost-effectively. "With a powerful subsidy of EUR 5.4 million, we are now setting the course for this. This will allow us to secure up to 250 jobs in the high-tech sector in Augsburg," says Pschierer.
The funding will be used to finance the "Cost Optimised Fibre Reinforced Solid Material Rocket Engine" research project. The aim of the project is to research an automated production process for the manufacture of rocket booster housings made from carbon fibre reinforced materials. Pschierer: "This goes to show once again the far-sightedness with which the state government began, many years ago, to position Augsburg and Swabia as locations for processing carbon fibre reinforced plastics. At the high-tech location of Augsburg, engineers are now able to show what is feasible, as the aim of halving the production costs for a component as large as this is certainly ambitious."
The subsidy is being paid to the German Aerospace Center's new Center for Lightweight-Production-Technology (ZLP), which was opened in Augsburg in May 2013. Total funding for the establishment of the ZLP from the Bavarian Economics Ministry will total EUR 26 million, in addition to EUR 5 million from the city of Augsburg. The idea for the project is a continuation of a project by the Augsburg-based company MT Aerospace AG, which had already received funding from the Bavarian Economics Ministry.
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