R&D in the aerospace sector to make Poland’s economy more competitive

The project provides innovative solutions for Polish aviation and aviation-related firms to help develop the country’s aerospace industry and strengthen its competitiveness. The project builds on four years of work by Rzeszów University of Technology and its partners from the Centre of Advanced Technologies to increase the effectiveness of aerospace research and development.

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A map showing the location of Poland’s ‘aviation valley’. © Romana Ewa Sliwa A map showing the location of Poland’s ‘aviation valley’. © Romana Ewa Sliwa

" The project enabled us to finance research for the aerospace industry and to develop innovative solutions in the form of patent applications, but also to support the development of research staff through financing research for masters, doctoral and post-doctoral dissertations and publications, as well as participation in conferences. We’ve equipped our laboratories with facilities enabling the performance of research of the very highest level. "

Professor Romana Ewa Śliwa, General Manager, Modern Material Technologies in Aerospace Industry project

The project identified tasks and analysed their feasibility based on needs highlighted by the aerospace industry and analysis of current knowledge in individual areas. The final list was determined through expert meetings and work on the formulation of research programmes to meet the identified tasks.

The project has carried out 15 research tasks so far, focusing on advanced and fast-developing areas of material and surface engineering and cutting edge manufacturing technologies. Among these tasks were the development, modelling, construction and control of high-speed machining processes.

A wide range of research areas

Development of design and production technology for cone and toothed gears, as well as technology for remelting nickel alloys were covered by the research. Other topics included research on the mechanical workings of magnesium and aluminium alloys, the use of polymeric resins in aviation to increase the strength and thermal resistance of composite materials, and plastic-forming techniques for magnesium and titanium aluminide-based alloys.

Other research segments focused on the application of composite metallic materials in aviation, barrier coatings on engine parts, aerospace materials with advanced structures and the precision casting of nickel alloys on aircraft engines. The project also looked at smart embedded systems and unconventional technologies for joining elements of aeronautical constructions.

Close cooperation between industry and academia

The work was conducted by the CAT AERONET consortium, consisting of 12 academic bodies and the Aviation Valley industry association. The project involved work by over 1 400 researchers in the laboratories of the consortium partners. The teams of experts assembled and the advanced aerospace material research laboratory at Rzeszów University of Technology, where CAT AERONET is based, helped to ensure that tasks were performed effectively and completed on time.

Given the complexity of the tasks, the teams developed research plans that were analysed annually. This was aimed at adjusting ideas to the changing demands of the sector, technological developments and socio-economic conditions.

Research was conducted collectively, using the individual resources and skills of all partners and based on projects recently completed by them. Close cooperation and efficient information flows helped to make the most of synergies, thus ensuring cost-effectiveness.

The innovative solutions developed under the project will help to upgrade research facilities and strengthen the competitive position of Polish manufacturers and R&D centres. Implementation of the results also improves job prospects for highly-qualified R&D and production technicians.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Modern Material Technologies in Aerospace Industry” is EUR 27 600 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 22 025 032 through the “Innovative economy” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


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