Airbus recently officially opened its new Engineering Center on the Wichita State University (WSU) Innovation Campus.

During an opening ceremony, Airbus highlighted the importance of “locating academia and industry together to improve innovation and competitiveness”.

The company also relaunched the Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge in Wichita, which will see Maize USD 266’s Maize High School and Maize South High School junior and senior students building an airplane in partnership with Airbus and Tango Flight.

Turning ideas into value

Barry Eccleston, CEO of Airbus Americas, Inc., said: “Airbus employees are creative people. As they develop engineering solutions they naturally discover new ideas and concepts that could potentially enhance products and business processes to create value for our customers. The question is, ‘how do we support our employees as they transition good ideas into value?’ Our presence on the Innovation Campus will help us do that. The campus provides an environment that fosters faster transition of innovative ideas into real-world uses and value for the company.”

Airbus says that being a resident on the campus provides a support infrastructure to Airbus Engineering that would otherwise be too expensive in a stand-alone engineering centre, including access to engineering labs, research faculty, conference facilities, educational opportunities, and easier collaboration with other members of the Innovation Campus.

Airbus is partnering with WSU within the university’s Applied Learning Model, which engages students in real-world engineering projects.

“Wichita’s talent pool of aerospace and aviation experts is among the richest in the world,” said John O’Leary, Vice President-Airbus Americas Engineering. “The aviation expertise here is recognized within Airbus and around the world. The Innovation Campus is only going to help Wichita’s expertise grow. And with the relaunch of the Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge in partnership with Tango Flight and Maize Schools, we’re investing in the future of that expertise.”