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German Aerospace Centre comes to Bremen

17 August 2006

Start-up office draws up plans for DLR’s new aerospace institute

"DLR Aerospace Institute Bremen - Project Office" - a plaque bearing these words, positioned right next to the University of Bremen's drop tower, will soon mark the spot of an important development for Bremen as a scientific and business location. By establishing a start-up office, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is pursuing its specific plans to set up a new aerospace institute in Bremen.

On Thursday, 17 August, at a joint reception held in the Town Hall, the President of the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Jens Böhrnsen, and the Chairman of the Executive Board of DLR, Prof. Dr Sigmar Wittig, opened a project office which will begin its work in Bremen on 1 September 2006.

 Delivery of the door sign for the project office
zum Bild Delivery of the door sign for the project office

The financial course has been set for the founding of the new establishment, planned for 1 January 2007 and once the federal government budget has been passed, the long-term financial basis of the new DLR Institute for Space Systems will be guaranteed. In June 2006, the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and the Business Development Committee of Deputations for Economy and Science also agreed to the state financing ten percent of the costs from its basic budget. At the same time as passing its budget, the DLR Senate reached a decision supporting the establishment of a temporary institute. The DLR Senate is expected to reach a decision on the formal establishment of an institute in November 2006.

The Centre of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University of Bremen, which employs around ten people, and the DLR office have the task of preparing the organisational aspects and content side for the establishment of a new DLR institute with the working title of the "Aerospace Institute Bremen".

Lord Mayor Jens Böhrnsen is delighted that initial preparations have been successful and says that "Establishment of the DLR institute is of long-term benefit to Bremen as an aerospace site and at the same time is evidence and recognition of the excellent reputation Bremen has for aerospace technology. I am sure the DLR’s scientists will find that the 'City of Science 2005' offers them the very best working conditions and highly qualified cooperation partners. Bremen’s business and scientific bodies will profit equally in the future from the new aerospace institute”.

By setting up this institute, DLR is closing a scientific gap in the field of space systems for orbital systems and spacecraft. The expertise of Bremen’s very own ZARM and DLR’s expertise in aerospace systems will be incorporated in the new institute. ZARM’s research remit is to be further developed and the centre will in the future work on research and development issues which both complement the work of the DLR institute and are of significance for the economic excellence of the university and business location. According to Prof. Dr Sigmar Wittig, "The new institute will not only allow DLR to close a scientific gap in Germany in the field of space systems but also in terms of business and science".

The first research and development objectives of the new institute will focus on satellite technology and spacecraft, such as a DLR compact research satellite, studies on the Orbital Return Vehicle (ORV), a joint top stage project and the international Rocket-borne EXperiments for University Students (REXUS). Other areas of its remit lie in systems technology for safety-related applications in space travel.

By working with EADS and OHB in Bremen, DLR has industrial partners who want to draw upon space systems research as initial research into the design of satellites and space transport systems right up to systems technology of relevance to safety. Attempts are already also underway to establish a close partnership with the University and College of Bremen to train system engineers and industrial engineers in aerospace-related disciplines.

Annual basic finance of up to € 17.8 million is planned for the new institute, ten percent of which is to be provided by the state of Bremen. Up to 100 scientists and engineers will work at the institute.


Ludger Fröbel
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Programmdirektion Weltraum
Tel.: +49 2203 601-2786
Fax: +49 2203 601-2820
E-Mail: Ludger.Froebel @ dlr.de

Gabriele Brünings
Freie Hansestadt Bremen, Senatskanzlei
Pressereferentin, Pressestelle des Senats
Tel.: +49 421 361-4102
Fax: +49 421 361-6867
E-Mail: Gabriele.Bruenings @ sk.bremen.de

Created: 17/08/2006 11:40:00