The National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) and five partners have signed a declaration of intent to set up a composites cluster in Flevoland. At ‘Compoworld’, as the cluster is named, research and educational institutes, government agencies and companies will collaborate to further develop composite technology into applied, marketable products and solutions. The Flevoland Development Agency (OMFL) is leading the Compoworld initiative.
Flevoland sits atop a gold mine regarding the development of high grade composites, the participating parties in the recently signed declaration of intent firmly believe.
There is rapidly increasing demand for high grade technological and weight saving materials in the aviation and aerospace sectors, as well as in the automotive and ship building industries, for example. Synthetic fibres and resins are taking the place of traditional materials, like steel and aluminium. Composites are much lighter and stronger than metal; consequently, landing gear and racing cars components for example can now be made from composite materials.
Vice Governor of Economic Affairs for Flevoland, Andres Greiner: ‘In the coming years, Fokker Landing Gear will substantially invest in composite technology for aircraft manufacturing, which will also involve working closely with NLR. Moreover, Fokker Landing Gear has already invested much in research and development at NLR. And NLR has also recently decided to purchase new machines.Â
Compoworld is not only intended for large companies, like Fokker, but rather also for specialised small and medium businesses (SME). ‘For this NLR in Marknesse plays a key role as a knowledge centre for industry,’explains Tjaard Sijpkes, director of technology at Fokker Landing Gear.
NLR will contribute a wealth of solutions to this burgeoning composites cluster. Bas Oskam, NLR’s Aerospace Vehicles Division Manager: ‘In Compoworld, NLR supports industry and SMEs with knowledge, technology and our facilities, such as the Resin Transfer Moulding machine with which we can make composite components.”
“For NLR, Compoworld means we can continue developing and supplying high grade technology for the market and government. And that is precisely our mission statement: to strengthen the innovative and decisive nature of government and promote the innovative and competitive capabilities of companiesÂ, says Oskam.
The partners’ first steps will be to setting up a master plan that includes an investment programme. The province of Flevoland and municipality of Noordoostpolder will contribute to this through the Zuiderzeelijn compensation funds.
Watch the ‘Omroep Flevoland’s’ video aboutÂ Compoworld here.