Pfäffikon, Schwyz, Switzerland – February 21st, 2017 – Oerlikon announced today that it has signed letters of intent to establish two research partnerships in the field of additive manufacturing – one with the Technical University of Munich (TU Munich, Germany) and a second one with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech, Russia). The two research partnerships support Oerlikon’s strategy to expand its leading position in surface solutions into additive manufacturing. In anticipation of the expected growth in demand for advanced component manufacturing by additive manufacturing, the collaborations will address some of the most pressing research and development challenges in this field.
Additive manufacturing is one of the foundational pillars of next generation manufacturing technologies that will drive the factories of the future. While additive manufacturing is becoming increasingly adopted for series production in industries from aerospace, automotive and power generation to medical, challenges remain before it is mature enough for mass production in industries. Oerlikon, TU Munich and Skoltech are all well placed with their expertise to address these challenges in additive manufacturing, and the partnerships will bring complementary strengths together and create an even stronger basis for technological innovations and solutions.
TU Munich has strong existing research capabilities across the additive manufacturing value chain and is a key academic institute working on driving the industrialization of the entire process. The agreement with TU Munich was signed by Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of Oerlikon, and Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang Herrmann, President of the TU Munich. Prof. Herrmann said, “In conducting research, it is integral for us to work hand-in-hand with technology companies to develop solutions for practical industrial challenges and applications. Partnering with Oerlikon exactly adds that perspective for us to drive forward our additive manufacturing research projects and opens up opportunities for exciting future research together.”
The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology has strong competence in advanced manufacturing and simulation expertise, including dedicated materials for additive manufacturing. The partnership with Skoltech was endorsed by Dr. Fischer and Prof. Dr. Alexander Kuleshov, President of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.
The signing of both research partnerships took place in Munich as the region has a strong industrial and technology ecosystem and is home to many of the innovators and early adopters of additive manufacturing. Strongly supporting the partnerships is the State of Bavaria. Ilse Aigner, Deputy Minister President of Bavaria, commented: “Bavaria, as one of the most dynamic high-tech regions, is joining forces with Oerlikon and the Technical University of Munich to create a hub in additive manufacturing that will be of mutual benefit and the foundation for further technological progress.”
Dr. Fischer, CEO of Oerlikon said: “Innovative technology is key to our growth strategy and a distinct advantage of Oerlikon. These partnerships mark important milestones in our efforts to take a leading position in additive manufacturing, as we are seeing a growing demand for advanced components that are lighter, with embedded functionality and can benefit from the increased design freedom of AM. Additive Manufacturing has the potential to meet these requirements. With our leading expertise in advanced materials and surface technologies, we are ideally positioned to drive this technology forward.”
Prof. Dr. Michael Süss, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oerlikon, added: “In the name of the Board, we are proud to provide our expertise in materials and surface technologies to help advance the industrialization of additive manufacturing with two leading academic partners. Additive manufacturing is opening up new possibilities for the designing and manufacturing of industrial products. We need to exploit this potential to sustain the competitiveness of innovation-driven industrial regions such as Germany. These collaborations are important parts of our commitment to leading industrial research. We look forward to fruitful partnerships with both universities, and I will personally support our efforts in strengthening our global network and cooperation with leading researchers and research institutes.”
Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) is a leading global technology Group, with a clear strategy of becoming a global powerhouse in surface solutions, advanced materials and materials processing. The Group is committed to investing in value-bringing technologies that provide customers with lighter, more durable materials that are able to increase performance, improve efficiency and reduce the use of scarce resources. A Swiss company with over 100 years of tradition, Oerlikon has a global footprint of over 13 500 employees at more than 170 locations in 37 countries and sales of CHF 2.7 billion in 2015. The company invested CHF 103 million in R&D in 2015 and has over 1 350 specialists developing innovative and customer-oriented products and services.
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