French aerospace group Dassault Aviation, renowned for its Mirage and Rafale fighters and Falcon business jets, has combined with leading French research institutions to establish a laboratory to research and develop new materials for use in aviation, particularly regarding acoustics, anti-icing and electromagnetism. The institutions concerned are the National Centre for Scientific Research (abbreviated to CNRS in French), the University of Lorraine and the University of Strasbourg.
The new research centre is designated the Innovative Functional Materials for Aviation (which acronyms to MOLIERE in French) laboratory, and it is also supported by the French Defence Innovation Agency. The agreement creating the laboratory has an initial term of four years, but can be renewed. (MOLIERE is of course a reference to the great French 17th century playwright Molière, real name Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, whose works have had a profound impact on the French language.)
“For the aviation industry, mastering innovative materials is a key differentiating factor on many commercial and defence products,” highlighted Dassault Aviation chairperson and CEO Eric Trappier. “Whether for the internal acoustics of our Falcons (absorbent materials), the stealth technology of our combat aircraft (materials for electromagnetic discretion) or the safety of all our aircraft (anti-icing materials), we must absolutely keep our lead. I am therefore delighted about this partnership with CNRS and the Universities of Strasbourg and Lorraine, which all boast world-class researchers, methods and tools.”
“Our two research laboratories involved in this partnership with Dassault Aviation have internationally recognised expertise in materials,” pointed out CNRS chairperson and CEO Antoine Petit. “I am very pleased to see more than 25 years of scientific cooperation with Dassault Aviation materialise again [Tuesday], this time with the creation of a joint research laboratory. This signature is part of the steps being taken by the CNRS to strengthen our relationships with businesses which particularly involve over 170 joint laboratories in activity, like the MOLIERE joint lab established [Tuesday].”
“I am delighted that this partnership has come to fruition, highlighting the importance of bringing together complementary experts from academic research and business to meet today’s technological, economic and societal challenges,” enthused University of Lorraine president Pierre Mutzenhardt. University of Strasbourg president Michel Deneken affirmed that he was “proud to see this long-standing partnership successfully lead to the creation of a joint research laboratory. The MOLIERE laboratory aims to meet the economic and environmental challenges facing aviation.”
The new joint laboratory will seek to develop new and high value-added materials for aviation, replacing current materials and providing new or improved properties and functionalities, while delivering material savings. To these ends, it will combine theory, digital processes and experimentation.