The Boeing Company announced today it will open a new research and technology center in Madrid, Spain. The initial investment in the Center will be around $10 million. Boeing is also establishing a research relationship with the Polytechnical University of Catalonia in Barcelona. These linked initiatives are designed to support the development of new environmental and air traffic management technologies. Boeing is increasing its global presence with both acquisitions and new technology initiatives. Madrid is the first of a number of planned centers around the world.
Speaking at a media conference in Madrid, Harry C. Stonecipher, Vice Chairman, The Boeing Company, said, "We must develop new aerospace technologies that will enable growth in air travel, while protecting the environment and enhancing capacity and safety. This Center will be an important part of that effort, and Boeing is proud to build on our 50-year relationship with Spain to partner on new initiatives that will define the future of our industry."
"The establishment of this center in Spain is good news for research and development in our country", stated Anna Birulès, the Spanish Minister of Science and Technology. "The aeronautical sector is knowledge and technology driven, and this center will be a good stimulus for our scientists. In Spain, the sector spends 17.5% of its turnover on research and development, and 20% of the sector's employees are in R & D, figures substantially superior to those that are observed in other sectors. I am sure that the center will be an incubator for important future projects and that the Polytechnic University of Catalonia will surprise the company with its research capacity".
While Boeing develops technologies in a number of countries outside the U.S., including Russia and Australia, the Center in Madrid will be the company's first international facility to focus on specific aerospace challenges. Activities will be tied to research at the Polytechnical University of Catalonia.
According to George Muellner, Vice President - General Manager of Phantom Works, Boeing's advanced research and development unit, the center will employ 20-30 locally-recruited scientists. A search is currently underway for a director of the center, whose activities will be overseen by the Phantom Works.
"Boeing works with the best intellectual talent around the world to develop leading-edge technologies to apply to our products and services," Muellner said. "Spain's technological and academic capabilities, and its increasingly important role in the European Union, make this country an ideal choice for a long-term technology partnership".
A decision on the exact location of the new center in Madrid is expected in the next month, when details of the relationship with the Polytechnical University of Catalonia should also be complete.
The Boeing Company is the world's largest aerospace company, with employees, customers and suppliers in 220 countries. Boeing has been present in Spain for 50 years, serving the needs of commercial airline customers and maintaining long-standing relationships with Spanish suppliers. It has also been a long-time supplier of military airplanes, helicopters and weapons systems to the Spanish military.
Boeing has also trained Spanish engineers and graduates for close to 30 years, many of whom have returned to Spain to hold key management positions. In addition to the center announced today, Boeing's Spanish operations include offices in Madrid and Palma de Mallorca, where a pilot training center is located, and the company has employees in Seville, who are working with Andalucia Aerospacial.
As Boeing's advanced R&D unit, the Phantom Works is a catalyst for developing innovative, breakthrough technologies and systems that significantly reduce the cycle time and cost of Boeing products and services while also improving their quality and performance.