TOKYO, JAPAN, January 6, 2009_ Boeing [NYSE: BA] has entered into an agreement with Ube Industries, Ltd., in Japan to work together on development of new materials technology for aerospace applications.
The initial focus of the collaboration will be on maturing high-temperature polymer matrix composites for Boeing's commercial airplanes that is intended to reduce the weight and cost of airframe structures in close proximity to the engines. Boeing and Ube also will seek to identify additional areas of mutual interest for joint development under the agreement.
The agreement establishes an initial two-year collaboration period, which can be extended based on mutual interests. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"This new agreement is a further example of our strategy to leverage top research capabilities wherever they reside in the world," said Frank Doerner, vice president of AeroStructures, Manufacturing, and Support Technologies in Boeing Phantom Works, the company's advanced R&D unit.
"Japanese industry is globally recognized for their R&D capabilities, particularly in materials technology," Doerner said. "Our hope is that this is just the start of a mutually beneficial long-term research partnership."
"Japan and Boeing have a long, successful history of working together," said Nicole Piasecki, president of Boeing Japan. "The collaborative agreement with Ube Industries expands our relationships and recognizes the outstanding capabilities of Japanese industry."
"While Ube Industries has long provided certain materials for aerospace applications, this new agreement is an important first step in leveraging Ube's world-class expertise in chemistry to open the door to broader supply of aerospace products," said Koji Kihira, president of Ube's Specialty Chemicals and Products Company. "We have been working to develop this market for a while now, and this agreement is an important milestone in that effort. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Boeing."
"Over the years, Ube Industries has created many high-performance, advanced materials. Now we are boldly tackling the development of world-class aerospace materials by making the most of our superior chemicals technology and reliable mass production capability," said Ryoichi Sato, General Manager of the Aerospace Materials Business Group in the Ube Specialty Chemicals and Products Company.
Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined, providing products and tailored services to airlines and U.S. and allied armed forces around the world. Phantom Works conducts its own R&D and also works with top government, private and university research centers throughout the world to quickly find the most innovative and affordable technology solutions in support of the company's business units. For more information, please visit www.boeing.com.
Ube Industries is one of Japan's top chemical companies. Many of Ube's basic chemical products and materials find applications in various industries including the automotive and consumer electronics, while the company's own independently developed polyimides, electrolytes, and other specialty products are used across the globe in personal computers, mobile phones, and similar applications. In the aerospace sector, Ube is well-known worldwide for heat control films and super-heat-resistant composite materials used in satellites. For more information, please visit www.ube.com.