Aeronautics company Airbus has partnered with LM Industries to form a new company dedicated to local mobility and autonomy, Neorizon. The mobility startup will operate a microfactory designed to rapidly and efficiently build products for new transportation and mobility solutions.
LM Industries was founded last year by Local Motors, the company behind some of the industry’s most talked about 3D printed vehicles. The company, labeled as the “first digital vehicle manufacturer” was started with the aim of helping other companies to develop and deploy next-gen mobility products. The recent formation of Neorizon with Airbus will push this goal further, combining digital manufacturing solutions with the expertise of a leading aerospace company.
Neorizon will have access to both companies’ technological resources, including LMI’s open, AV shuttle platform and Airbus’ metal additive manufacturing and positioning system for drones that allows for safer and easier take-off and landing. These extensive resources and technologies will allow the Neorizon team to dream up and invent new mobility solutions to meet the world’s current and future needs.
“Every local and state government is faced with challenges such as rapid urbanization and congestion, inefficient and pollutive transport, and ever-changing and evolving technology,” said Jay Rogers, CEO and founder of LM Industries. “Current transport infrastructure and existing mass manufacturing are too inflexible and capital intense to service evolving technology trends and changing consumer demands.”
Peter Weckesser, Digital Transformation Officer of Airbus Defence and Space, added: “We’ve been working with LM Industries’ team at Local Motors since early 2016 when we realized the unique value proposition surrounding direct digital manufacturing and open-source design. Both parties recognized the commercial opportunities for pooling resources and expertise, specifically combining LM Industries’ digital manufacturing with Airbus’ materials expertise, metal 3D printing and additive manufacturing, and prototyping and serial production capabilities.”
Neorizon’s operations will be based at a microfactory built at Airbus’ Ludwig-Bölkow-Campus near Munich, Germany in conjunction with an Innovation Campus including a new Technical University of Munich Campus. The innovative mobility microfactory is expected to bring 150-200 high tech jobs to the region as well as design and engineering apprenticeship programs.
Notably, the Neorizon headquarters will be designed in such a way to bolster creative thinking, including a gathering space and an “innovation coffee shop” for employees and Industry 4.0 leadership.
The new company will be led by Benjamin Queisser, a senior executive with extensive experience in international business. In his role as CEO, Queisser will be joined by CFO Albert Ishak, the former Financial Controller within the Airbus A400M program. The leadership team also includes other strong commercial and financial leaders from a range of industries and countries.
Queisser, the CEO of Neorizon, commented on the new venture, saying: “Together with our employees, shareholders, and leading mobility and innovation companies in Germany and abroad, we will address local mobility issues by rapidly producing concepts, prototypes, products, and solutions, in collaboration with the local technological ecosystem.”
Neorizon shareholder representatives include Grazia Vittadini, CTO of Airbus; Evert Dudok, Airbus Defence and Space EVP; Mark Bentall, COO of Airbus’ corporate technology office; David Cayet, CFO of LM Industries; Gunnar Graef, Professor for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, ESCP Europe; and Chip Blankenship, Professor of Practice, Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia. The advisory council, responsible for Neorizon governance, consists of Alexander Gerber and Simon Best from Airbus and Creighton Reed and David Woessner of LM Industries.