MilAeroGeek attended an informative insider breakfast this morning with Dassault Systèmes. They invited three partners from Hamburg, Bangalore, and Wichita to speak about the changing face of aerospace through the development of centers of excellence that use the latest in cutting- edge technology including 3D systems from Dassault Systèmes. According to Jeff Smith, Ideas Lab Director for Aerospace and Defense, Dassault Systèmes has the endgame of, “creating a worldwide innovation ecosystem” with the goal of shortening development time from years to days.

Jeff Smith, Ideas Lab Director for Aerospace and Defense, Dassault Systèmes. Copyright Jeremy VanDomelen

First up was Priyank Kharge, the Minister of State for Information Technology, Biotechnology, and Tourism. According to Kharge India is on track to be the third largest aerospace and defense market by 2020 with Bangalore being at the center of this predicted growth. India is becoming more than just an emerging market with a huge number of educational institutions churning out engineers looking for work in this desirable market vertical. The Center of Excellence in Aerospace and Defense in India has produced the 13th best startup ecosystem in the world with research and development incubators in the fourth largest tech hub in the world. Kharge’s goal is to bring investment to the region through ideation, innovation, and invention.

Second at bat was Roland Gerhards, CEO and Managing Director of ZAL in Hamburg, Germany. ZAL has created the Center for Applied Aeronautical Research which has quickly become the third largest civil aviation center in the world. Working with both public and private partners, including universities and the German government, has enabled faster reaction times to emerging technologies, according to Gerhards. ZAL has built a complete development ecosystem with 30 partners in one building housing OEMs, startups and integrators under one roof. The focus of the research network falls into six domains, fuel cell/hybrid electric, cabin innovation, AC systems, 3D printing application, acoustics, and VR development with Dassault Systèmes. ZAL has the goal of offering a complete development process from start to finish and offers b2b services by providing partners with “blind dates’ to foster innovation between the different members. Started just one year ago ZAL expects to see their first fully developed product in the next 3-5 years.

Third was Gerardo Olivares, PhD, Director, Crash Dynamics and Computational Dynamics at Wichita State University’s (WSU) National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). Started in 1995 in the “air capitol of the world,” NIAR offers R&D testing, startup promotion, existing business support, and workforce growth through close collaboration with the innovation campus at WSU. The campus includes a newly opened experimental engineering facility and a Dassault Systèmes 3D Experience Center which is used to develop aerospace products from inception to production.

Their first product run through the pipeline is a search-and-rescue unmanned aerial system (UAS). It was first designed virtually through the use of advanced 3D design and CFD tools to flesh out the best design. That design was then tested in a virtual reality simulator to test flight characteristics in real time. The UAS was then built and tested through a variety of bleeding-edge prototyping technologies including 3D printing of a gimbal and robotic inspection. As of the time of this writing, the UAS will be going into testing in the near future. According to Olivares WSU Dassault, “together we can change the world.”