Solvay announces collaboration with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research, opening the joint Manufacturing Innovation Center supporting advancement in composite technologies

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October 6, 2022 (press release) –


Partnership allows for increased efficiencies and performance, charting a new path for the future of aviation.

Today, Solvay, a global leader in advanced materials for aerospace, and Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) celebrated the official opening of their joint Manufacturing Innovation Center dedicated to enabling the future of flight through advances in composite technologies. The center is located within NIAR’s Advanced Technologies Lab for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS).

At the Manufacturing Innovation Center, the country’s leading aviation companies will have access to 150,000 square feet of ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) compliant development, testing and prototyping facilities as well as the latest in advanced aviation material research. 

Companies will be able to fabricate entire aircraft structures such as wings and fuselages at a fraction of the cost of making it themselves. Using automated and high-rate processing with smart and agile manufacturing technologies, Solvay and NIAR engineers will work hand-in-hand with customers to test ideas and innovative structures in real time. These capabilities help to increase the adoption of composites, and allow aviation companies to meet increased performance and efficiency targets. 

“Our partnership with NIAR through this joint Manufacturing Innovation Center is an important milestone in Solvay’s ambition to help key customers across the United States advance the future of aerospace and defense,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, President of Solvay’s Materials Segment. “Here, we can explore the advantages of new composite material forms with the latest manufacturing technologies to create a lighter, safer and more sustainable aircraft of the future.”

“ATLAS is the future of aviation manufacturing, and we’re proud to provide a proving ground for some of the world’s most advanced aviation technologies and companies,” said John Tomblin, WSU senior vice president for Industry & Defense Programs and NIAR executive director. “Having Solvay’s material expertise on-site at this one-of-a-kind facility is a major asset for companies looking to explore what’s possible for future aircraft.”

Solvay’s strategic involvement with NIAR demonstrates how its advanced material innovation can help customers in the United States reduce time and excess costs to test new applications. Solvay engineers will work with customers across the  aerospace, defense, space and advanced air mobility markets.

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