October 13, 2022 | German-Dutch cooperation in aerospace research

DLR and NLR in­tend to fur­ther deep­en fu­ture co­op­er­a­tion

  • DLR and NLR have been working together successfully for 50 years.
  • Joint declaration on intensified cooperation signed.
  • Focal points of the expanded cooperation are the areas of Unmanned Aerial Aystems, electric flight as well as lifecycle engineering and the Circular Economy.
  • Focus: aeronautics, sustainability, climate-neutral aviation, uncrewed flight

On 13 October 2022, the Executive Boards of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and Royal NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centre met for a joint management conference in Marknesse, in the Netherlands. On this occasion, the two partners reaffirmed the value and continuity of the diverse cooperation that has existed between the organisations for 50 years, and declared their intention to further deepen their collaboration in future. To this end, three Memoranda of Understanding were signed on the topics of Unmanned Aerial Systems, Lifecycle Engineering and the Circular Economy, and Electric Flight. In the future, the countries will use each other's national test centres for Unmanned Aerial Systems, testament to their increasingly close cooperation. Chair of the DLR Executive Board, Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, and Chief Executive Officer of NLR, Michel Peters, commented on the event with a joint statement:

"These three initiatives, in addition to strong cooperation in the areas of flight testing and defence, will take our efforts to the next level. Together, we are determined to make progress on many research topics that are necessary to realise a more sustainable and resilient society. Decades of fruitful and lasting cooperation between DLR and NLR have produced joint initiatives that have shaped European and global aviation, such as the joint Dutch-German Wind Tunnels (DNW) and the establishment of the European Air Traffic Management research alliance, AT-One. The synergy afforded by our shared office in Brussels, and other extensive bilateral initiatives, enhances the impact of these and other joint activities.

Based upon common elements in the new strategies of both organisations, we hereby confirm that we are strengthening our cooperation by increasing its scope through new initiatives on Unmanned Aerial Systems, Perfect Electrical Flight and Lifecycle Engineering and the Circular Economy, as expressed with the signing of the related Memoranda of Understanding today. Furthermore, a safe and secure society is a common and primary goal that neither of us can afford to tackle alone. Therefore, in addition to stepping up our game regarding the digitalisation of air transport and the improved sustainability of aviation, we consider improving our cooperation in the context of defence as our shared responsibility.

Today's urgent and complex challenges demand a coordinated effort; one that strengthens the role of research organisations in the European ecosystem and that pushes everyone to go further. It is our firm belief that this lasting partnership can be instrumental in achieving that."

Specifically, in the field of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), NLR and DLR are looking to expand the cross-border cooperation of their test centres in Marknesse and Cochstedt, whereby the technical equipment will be adapted for mutual use. In addition, under the heading 'Lifecycle Engineering and the Circular Economy' (LCE), the partners are focusing on joint research efforts to make the air transport system more sustainable. As part of the research collaboration, the entire development and service life of products, including recycling at the end of the life cycle, will be considered and new solutions developed. Under the title 'Perfect e-flight', joint developments are planned in the field of electric flight, with the partners focusing on the aspects of hydrogen tanks and ground infrastructure as well as fuel cell propulsion. One of the aims is to conduct test flights between NLR and DLR sites.

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Falk Dambowsky

Head of Media Relations, Editor
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne
Tel: +49 2203 601-3959