On the 12th of May NLR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the new established National Aerospace Centre (NAC) of Malta during its launching event in Valletta, Malta. NLR will share its technical know-how andÂ provide support and capabilities to assist the NAC to start up and become a Centre of Excellence within Europe. NLRÂ will commit to this for a period of 5 to 7 years.
NLR will assist NAC with Research, Development and Innovations (RDI) in the areasÂ avionics,Â ATM and flight operations,Â Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) andÂ Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS/UAS). MoreoverÂ NLR will assist in providing flight testing facilities & services, mainly for RPAS/UAS activities as well asÂ specialised training and use of new NAC facilities on plastic and metal 3D printing.
NLR, as a leading international research centre for aerospace, has extensive expertise in these areas and will provide specialist knowledge and facilities to support NAC in developing required capabilities and excellence in niche areas of value to support theÂ aviation industry of Malta.
The MoU is the first resultÂ of the TEMARA project (Teaming to Extend Maltese ambitions in Aerospace), performed under the EU’s Horizon2020-2014-1-WIDESPREAD-TEAMING programme. This projectÂ is executed by the Ministry of Tourism of Malta, which is the main responsible for aviation, the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) andÂ NLR. AÂ main project outcome will be the business plan for the NAC implementation activities to which NLR contributed. This plan will be the driving force in the build up of NAC’s RDI activities, covering a 5-7 years period with a 15-30 million Euro budget, partly through Maltese government investments and other sources such as the European Structural and Regional Development Funds (ESRDF) and potentially via the second stage of the TEMARA project.
The strategic collaboration with NAC will be used to expand NLR’s network, to foster and strengthen NLR ties in that particular region where in various fields of the aviation industry the activities on Research, Development and Innovation are growing; as well as to open up new and joint business with NAC, for instance in the area of RPAS/UAS flight testing.