The aerospace industry is an important economic sector for the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. An essential characteristic of Baden-Wuerttemberg as business location is the excellent research infrastructure, a highly-specialised industry of equipment providers and a dense network of productive manufacturers and suppliers. Besides the motor vehicle construction and the mechanical engineering industry, other sectors of major relevance include the electrical engineering, measurement technology and plastics processing as well as the information and communication technology.
Numerous products stand for high-tech made in Baden-Wuerttemberg: avionics and cockpit systems, products used for cabins like passenger seats, panels, air-conditioning and lighting as well as radar technology and guided missiles. Particular emphasis is placed on the space sector, for example with regard to satellites for scientific missions and earth observation systems, payloads for communication satellites and satellite thrusters.
The enterprises operating in this sector are incorporated in Baden-Wuerttemberg's excellent research infrastructure. Besides the University of Stuttgart with Europe's largest aerospace faculty as well as other universities, Baden-Wuerttemberg offers a dense network of applied research institutions. This includes seven institutes of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), numerous institutions of the Fraunhofer Society as well as the Innovation Alliance Baden-Wuerttemberg dealing with aerospace topics.
In recent years, the aerospace industry of Baden-Wuerttemberg has shown a strong employment growth. According to a survey of the industry carried out by the network organisation Aerospace Forum Baden-Wuerttemberg (LR BW), the aerospace industry accounts for more than 15,000 employees. Besides a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises, there are also leading global companies - such as EADS with its subsidiaries Astrium, Cassidian and Tesat Spacecom, Recaro Aircraft Seating or Diehl Aerospace and Diehl Aircabin - having established their headquarters in the southwest of the state. This business landscape is complemented by a number of specialists from the automotive and production technology sector that are providing the aerospace industry with various advance services.
Notably the highly-developed research landscape forms a crucial basis for the success of Baden-Wuerttemberg's aerospace industry: Besides the institutes of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Stuttgart and Lampolshausen, noteworthy research activities are carried out by the Fraunhofer Society and the universities of Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. These institutions are supported by the Aerospace Forum Baden-Wuerttemberg e.V. stimulating network activities between local companies and research institutes as well as between the major institutions themselves.
The future prospects of Baden Wuerttemberg's aerospace industry are bright. Besides the anticipated expansion of the civil aviation market, current trends - such as the need for new propulsion technologies - will have a positive impact on the sector's development.