Madrid, 10 December 2021 – Airbus is increasing its presence in Spain with the launch of an Airbus UpNext entity, a wholly-owned innovation subsidiary, and a Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies.
This complements Airbus’ existing footprint in Spain and reaffirms Airbus’ commitment to remain a strong player in the Spanish aerospace ecosystem. Airbus has long been a pioneer in composite technologies in Spain, both in materials and manufacturing processes.
“Establishing Airbus UpNext and the ZEDC in Spain strengthens our Research & Technology footprint in the country and ensures the involvement, from the start, of some of the best experts to support our zero-emission ambition,” said Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer.
The Airbus UpNext entity will initially be accountable for the study and demonstration of hydrogen-powered non-propulsive energies as well as future tanking operations applying advancements in vision-based technology. This new presence will leverage the expertise of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space in Spain. Airbus UpNext gives future technologies a development fast-track by building demonstrators at speed and scale. This entails the sourcing of new talent and suppliers in order to evaluate, mature and validate potential innovative products and services that encompass radical technological breakthroughs.
The ZEDC follows the opening of two other ZEDCs in June this year at Airbus sites in Bremen, Germany and Nantes, France. The focus of the Spanish ZEDC is non-propulsive energy, systems for fuel cell cooling and fiber optics, as well as carbon fiber tanks for storing cryogenic liquid hydrogen. The tank development is done in a coordinated approach with the other Airbus national entities. These technologies are critical to fuel a future zero-emission aircraft, supporting the goal of an entry-into-service by 2035.