May 11, 2017

Japan Business Federation visits DLR Space Administration in Bonn

Led by Vice Chair S. Shimomura, a delegation from the Japan Business Federation Keidanren – equivalent to the Federation of German Industries – visited the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Space Administration and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Bonn. The discussions centred on increasing support for collaboration between German and Japanese aerospace companies.

Gerd Gruppe, DLR Executive Board Member responsible for the Space Administration, welcomed the Japanese guests to Bonn. Gruppe has visited Japan regularly since 2014, accompanied by a German delegation, to promote economic and research relations in the space sector.

“Our objective is to strengthen the ties between German and Japanese companies in the long term, and hence to implement projects that benefit both sides,” emphasises Gruppe. “Strategic cooperation with Japanese partners is of vital importance to DLR. Sustainable collaboration between German and Japanese companies will be essential to securing a better position in the global market, especially in the area of new economy and the changes it brings to aerospace companies.”

Setsuhiro Shimomura, leader of the Japanese delegation, acknowledged this continuous, steady commitment, expressing the associated wish to expand relations between Japanese and German aerospace companies within a targeted framework, for instance by organising B2B gatherings and setting up joint projects. A first step toward strengthening cooperation could be to intensify supplier relationships between German and Japanese companies. The aim is to improve products by providing innovative Japanese and German components in order to make them more competitive on the global market. For instance, Japan possesses immense expertise in the area of microelectronics and new materials.

In addition, the joint development of components or products – a possibility that was greeted with great interest on both sides – could also be a next step. The establishment of a joint German-Japanese funding pool could be a concrete measure in the implementation of these projects.

The discussions further focused on technology transfer from aerospace to other areas, for instance the automotive industry, and vice versa. DLR presented its technology transfer and technology marketing activities – the INNOspace initiative – while the Japanese delegation outlined its own procedures, including the Space New Economy Creation Network (S-NET). The parties agreed to continue exchanging information and to forge closer links between German and Japanese operations.

In addition, the delegation showed considerable interest in expanding cooperation in the area of storing, analysing and marketing Earth observation data. This is a central issue in the strategic partnership between DLR and the Japanese space agency, JAXA, so DLR and its Japanese partners will certainly continue this dialogue.


Elisabeth Mittelbach

Me­dia in­quiries Ger­man Space Agen­cy
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Ger­man Space Agen­cy at DLR
Königswinterer Str. 522-524, 53227 Bonn

Dr Thorsten Nix

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
International Relations
International Cooperation
Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln