Saturday, December 19, 2009

EADS Opening Innovation Center In India

EADS Opening Innovation Center In India
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Dec 04 , 2009 , p. 11
Neelam Mathews

NEW DELHI – European aerospace giant EADS on Dec. 4 will formally open EADS Innovation Works India, part of the EADS research and development network, in Bengaluru.

The center, in the city formerly known as Bangalore, is the third such Asian branch for EADS after sites in Russia and Singapore. The new center will look at developing software and also develop technology for homeland security.

It will be a good fit for India and EADS, Chief Technology Officer Jean Botti told Aviation Week.

Biofuels and nanotechnology are other areas the company will start working on at its wholly owned facility. EADS is said to be working on algae-related fuels, and there is a possibility that India’s large water-based bodies would be fertile growth tanks. EADS is also looking at working with the Indian Space Research Organization on very fast planes.

Botti said the expected freeze on the research and technology budget in 2010 would not affect ongoing work because the budget is already large. He also rejected any assertion that the Indian center was a means to cutting costs.

“We had decided on India long back. The opening of the center is a part of our global research and technology strategy. India is an important part of our vision and it has highly educated people that will offer value to our R&T capabilities,” he said.

Botti said he saw innovation as a capability to put invention into practice. Innovators have to have entrepreneurs, he explained. EADS will look at licensing some noncore innovations to private manufacturers. The technology licensing initiative will offer opportunities for expanding industries in India to benefit from the company’s know-how.

Like the other centers, the Indian center is supposed to help spur promising technologies into products and services, in part by offering a highly skilled, transnational work force. For instance, the Singapore center, which works under the government’s A-Star program, is working on sensors that can detect objects behind a wall, and EADS has tapped Russia as a source for mathematicians.

Some of the projects carried out by EADS Innovation Works India will be with Indian partners such as the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institutes of Technology. The projects will capitalize on Indian strengths in the fields of numerical simulations of complex physical systems, multidisciplinary optimization, high-performance computing and radar technologies.

Seventy percent of innovation is done outside Europe because there are so many centers of excellence, according to Botti, and with the U.S. being a major player, EADS is likely to try to tap that nation next.

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