Companies in the new materials sector profit from the fact that North Rhine-Westphalia has one of Europe's densest research networks. Major 'innovation regions' have emerged around the cities of Aachen, Bochum and Paderborn. Since 2008 the Interdisciplinary Center for Advanced Materials Simulation (ICAMS) at Bochum University has been using computer simulation techniques in order to create innovative materials. The Institute of Materials Research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is exploring new applications in the aerospace, energy and automotive sectors. A further focus for innovation is the Jülich Research Center, which has created new materials for fuel cells.
North Rhine-Westphalia has developed extensive skills in the area of technical textiles and textile composites. Alongside outstanding scientific research establishments, NRW also boasts a large number of materials manufacturing and processing enterprises, some of which can look back on a long tradition.
For instance, the Münsterland-based company SAERTEX produces strong lightweight materials that can be tailored to a broad range of applications, e.g. bridge components, ships, airplanes, wind power installations and sports equipment.
AUNDE in Mönchengladbach manufactures innovative technical textiles for the automotive and aerospace industries. AUNDE ranks among the global market leaders for automotive textiles, cloth and leather seat covers for car interiors.
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