[ECOMAT - The future starts here]
The ECOMAT research and technology centre is located in Bremen's Airport City. It brings together all the expertise in science and business present in Bremen in the sectors of lightweight construction, materials research and virtual product development in the aircraft construction industry.
ECOMAT stands for the "Center for Eco-efficient Materials & Technologies"”. Its name says it all: the people working at ECOMAT are closely engaged with all aspects of lightweight construction, as a key technology of the future. This subject area will open the door to more efficient aircraft and ground vehicles, reduce the consumption of resources and cut emissions.
Other fields of research covered by this umbrella term of a "virtual product" are digital designs for components (for example, high-lift systems for the aviation industry) and finding suitable virtual manufacturing, testing and approvals processes. The consistent use of digitisation makes the processes for developing innovative, more environmentally friendly aircraft more efficient. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the lead research organisation, working together here with a number of other partners.
Nowadays, the research and efforts of individual people are no longer enough when progress has to be achieved quickly. The only way to fully engage with extremely complex subject areas, such as lightweight construction, materials research and the associated digital technologies, and achieve progress in these fields, is to work together.
An entire community under one roof
This is why scientific institutions and major figures from business and commerce have come together at ECOMAT in Bremen. By working together, they all benefit from the exchange of knowledge and expertise. ECOMAT is both a research centre and a real community. Its laboratory facilities are just as important as the regular discussions and get-togethers where the 500 researchers who work there can swap ideas.
They are all working towards the same goal: creating industry-oriented applications which will quickly find their way into production in real life. Sharing laboratory facilities and the technical centre creates the synergies which makes this possible. This approach not only saves money, but also provides an excellent basis for joint research projects.
Creating synergies between business and science
Lightweight construction technology has many different applications, for example, in aviation and aerospace, automotive engineering, wind power and ship-building. It's because of the sheer scope of this area of investigation that so many prestigious institutes and innovative companies have moved into this new centre. ECOMAT's main tenants are Airbus, TESTIA GmbH, Faserinstitut Bremen e.V. (FIBRE) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Other medium-sized companies and scientific institutions, such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM are also represented on site. Click here for more information.
The 500 or so researchers working at ECOMAT don't just use the same laboratories: they all have an active interest in pursuing joint research projects, which are made much easier by the proximity of facilities within the building.
Bright minds – one of ECOMAT's premier products
In addition to the value added by exchanging specialist data and a thorough understanding of the demands of science and commerce, a partnership that is designed for the long term also offers synergies when it comes to education and training. The results of research and development activities not only flow into future products and applications, but can also be used to define what qualifications and personnel will be required in future and how their provision can be ensured by the economic and scientific environment present in Bremen. The technology centre bolsters the region as a whole.
As one of the Federal State of Bremen's central economic and political initiatives, ECOMAT is particularly important for this area. It is a project run by the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Airbus and other partners. As part of its activities in coordinating the content of work at ECOMAT, the Federal State of Bremen also supports its ECOMAT partners by applying for project funding, organising workshops and events and representing ECOMAT and its partners at conferences and trade fairs. It is accompanied by promotional initiatives such as Bremen's "Luft- und Raumfahrt-Forschungsprogramm 2020" (aviation and aerospace research program 2020), financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Innovative projects run by medium-sized companies can also benefit from the panoply of support offered by the WFB (Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH), known in English as "Bremeninvest" and the BAB – (Förderbank für Bremen und Bremerhaven: Bremen's regional development bank).