Boeing to Open Aerospace, Autonomy Research Center
Industry and the military turn to the Northeast for innovation.
The Northeast is drawing in companies and military organizations seeking innovation. The Boeing Co. announced that it would be opening the new Boeing Aerospace & Autonomy Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to an August 1 statement.
The center will focus on “designing, building and flying autonomous aircraft and developing enabling technologies,” the statement said. The facility will house employees from both Boeing and its subsidiary Auora Flight Sciences, purchased last year. Aurora creates flight autonomy software, among other innovations.
"Boeing is leading the development of new autonomous vehicles and future transportation systems that will bring flight closer to home," said Greg Hyslop, Boeing's chief technology officer. "By investing in this new research facility, we are creating a hub where our engineers can collaborate with other Boeing engineers and research partners around the world and leverage the Cambridge innovation ecosystem."
The center will be located in Kendall Square, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT’s) new mixed-use real estate development in Cambridge. MIT is constructing the facility as part of its “strategy to foster vibrancy and diversity” in the area, according to the Boeing statement. The university plans to construct six buildings for research, offices, retail and housing.
"It's fitting that Boeing will join the Kendall/MIT innovation family," said MIT Provost Martin Schmidt. "Our research interests have been intertwined for over 100 years, and we've worked together to advance world-changing aerospace technologies and systems. MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the oldest program of its kind in the United States and excels at its mission of developing new air transportation concepts, autonomous systems and small satellites through an intensive focus on cutting-edge education and research. Boeing's presence will create an unprecedented opportunity for new synergies in this industry."
Last month, the company also announced the creation of Boeing NeXt, a program that will combine the company’s researchers and projects "to shape the future of travel and transport, including the development of a next-generation airspace management system to enable the safe coexistence of piloted and autonomous vehicles," according to Boeing. The company noted that employees from the new center would aid in developing new technologies to support that program.
In April, officials from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) announced that the lab was partnering with Northeastern University and other Massachusetts-area universities, institutes and industry to form a satellite facility called ARL Northeast in Boston.