Two ambitious aviation hubs in greater Rotterdam – The Hague, TPY and RHIA, have signed a cooperation agreement with the support of InnovationQuarter to join forces. Together they offer innovative entrepreneurs and researchers a place to develop and test new innovations for electric and hydrogen-powered flying. The collaboration will lead to a real life demonstration and test environment in the Next Aviation Fieldlab, Hoog 16Hoven and the Ypenburg business park.
Worldwide, hydrogen is seen as a major contender for the upscaling of sustainable aviation, whereby breakthroughs in small aviation should enable upscaling to larger aircraft. The partners believe that sustainable aviation can be achieved faster and aim in the Netherlands – with a rich aviation history – to play an important role in the future of aviation. As part of an extensive regional innovation cluster from Drechtsteden to Noordwijk, the parties want to attract start-ups, scale-ups and international companies that want to contribute to this, in areas such as:
- Storage and distribution of emission-free fuels and energy sources;
- Fast refuelling with new fuels;
- Adaptation and testing of aircraft;
- Alternative powertrains or parts thereof for regional aircraft, including a new propeller type;
- Storage and distribution of new energy sources onboard aircraft;
- New solutions for lightweight materials and structural parts;
- Scaling-up possibilities through production automation;
- Certification requirements and processes.
The collaboration ties in nicely with other current initiatives. For example, the Next Aviation Fieldlab at Rotterdam The Hague Airport is home to the Pipistrel Velix Electro (PH-NLX), the first registered electric aircraft in the Netherlands. In the Smart Rotors project, RHIA, Koninklijke NLR, TU Delft and companies located in TPY are working together on the development of more efficient and quieter propellers. A prototyping centre and workshops have been developed at TPY where work can be done on innovative components for sustainable aviation.
InnovationQuarter supports innovation development in the aerospace sector in greater Rotterdam – The Hague by actively connecting businesses to knowledge institutions and relevant authorities and by facilitate intensified collaboration between aerospace-related innovation hubs. The partnership between TPY and RHIA in the field of sustainable aviation, sealed today, offers unique opportunities for SMEs in the region, will contribute to the international visibility of this sector and potentially attract new foreign companies that offer added value to the regional cluster.
Local and regional officials are enthusiastic about this new development in the region. “There are many opportunities for innovation here in greater Rotterdam – The Hague, also in the field of aerospace. You can only capitalize on those opportunities through cooperation. So it’s great that RHIA and TPY are joining forces. This can accelerate innovations that contribute to major social issues such as making aviation more sustainable, accessible and safe,” says Adri Bom-Lemstra, Deputy for Economy and Innovation at the province of Zuid-Holland. Barbara Kathmann, the alderman of the Municipality of Rotterdam, is also enthusiastic: “RHIA and TPY show that work is being done on cleaner aviation and that Rotterdam has an innovative business climate that responds to opportunities, including hydrogen, which are high in the Rotterdam region. agenda.” Saskia Bruines, alderman of the Municipality of The Hague, emphasizes that “economic cooperation between The Hague and Rotterdam is becoming closer and that the initiative of TPY and RHIA makes an excellent contribution to this.”
By bringing together the possibilities for aviation, RHIA and TPY can play an even stronger role in the shared ambition: Accelerate the realization of zero-emission aviation while strengthening our industrial base. This is where they can make a difference, whether in airport operations or aircraft and systems design to enable the transition in aviation. Stephen Hands, Managing Director TPY, and Miranda Janse, Director RHIA, say they are very happy with the collaboration and look forward to welcoming other companies and institutions.