The structural characteristics of the Bavarian aerospace sector offer an excellent foundation for branch stakeholders. Bavaria is home to world-leading OEMs as well as to a large number of suppliers and engineering services. Manufacturers of special equipment just like world class research facilities and educational institutions are located in the Free State. The Bavarian state government offers a wide variety of support measures and creates an unique framework for the aerospace sector. Recently, for instance, the Bavarian Strategy on Aeronautics 2030 was developed in order to assert and strengthen Bavaria`s top position as one of the leading aerospace locations worldwide.
Focuses include the construction of aeroplanes, aircraft engines, helicopters and spaceships. Satellite navigation is another core field. Bavaria's around 550 aerospace companies employ around 36,000 engineers, technicians and industrial specialists – around one third of those working in this sector in Germany. They generate annual sales of around EUR 7 billion. When those employed in the air transport sector are included, the industry counts well over 60,000 staff.
Training in top technologies is a major priority in Bavaria. Bavaria offers a large number of first-class educational institutions for the next generation in the aerospace sector. The Technische Universität München, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the University of Würzburg, the Universität der Bundeswehr Neubiberg and many other institutions give the next generation of professionals outstanding learning conditions. The Munich Aerospace faculty was founded in 2010. Its aim is to establish 55 professorships, supported by funding from the Bavarian Ministries of Science and the Economy, to teach industrial research and production expertise in an integrative way. The Bavarian Economics Ministry is also supporting the establishment of the "Ludwig Bölkow Campus Aerospace & Security", which is to become an international hub for pioneering innovation, new approaches and practice-orientated training in the field of aerospace.
A multi-faceted research infrastructure offers outstanding conditions for industrial aerospace in Bavaria. One significant research institution is the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which has sites in Oberpfaffenhofen, Weilheim and Augsburg. World-renowned institutions such as the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) and the Galileo Control Center (GCC) are thus based in Oberpfaffenhofen. Furthermore, scientists conduct aerospace research at many universities in Bavaria, the Fraunhofer Institutes in Munich, Erlangen and Würzburg, the Max Planck Institutes for Astrophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the think tank "Bauhaus Luftfahrt", funded by the Bavarian Economics Ministry. Key companies in the sector have also established research centres in Bavaria.
Bavaria offers ideal structures for networking aerospace companies with research, politics and other companies, as well as with potential customers in Bavaria and abroad. Since 2006, as part of the Cluster Initiative, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs has supported bavAIRia e.V., which identifies Bavaria's core competences in aviation, aerospace and space flight applications and brings the experts together in more closely-knit networks. Also other clusters like New Materials, Information & Communication Technologies, Mechatronics & Automation, Power Electronics or Sensor Technologies are interesting for the aerospace sector.
In order to offer new, innovative companies in the aerospace sector an ideal business environment, the Free State supports the Anwendungszentrum Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), which also operates the Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC Bavaria) of the European Space Agency (ESA) and organises the "European Satellite Navigation Competition" and "Copernicus Masters" ideas competitions.
Another network is the Initiative Satellitennavigation Berchtesgadener Land, a group of small and medium-sized companies and scientific institutions which, among other projects, supports the certified Galileo Test and Development Area (GATE) for testing Galileo applications.