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Airbus and LM Industries create mobility startup Neorizon; digital manufacturing

Airbus and LM Industries, the the parent company of Local Motors and Launch Forth, have formed Neorizon to provide disruptive and innovative products with an initial focus on local mobility and autonomy.

The Neorizon microfactory is intended to build products at unprecedented speeds through the combination of co-creation and cutting-edge technology. Its efficiency will allow products to be iterated regularly to match customers’ needs and preferences.

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. Current transport infrastructure and existing mass manufacturing are too inflexible and capital intense to service evolving technology trends and changing consumer demands.

—Jay Rogers, CEO and founder of LM Industries

Neorizon brings together the flexibility of professional digital manufacturing and the expertise of one of the world’s leading aerospace and defense companies. With access to the technological innovations of both partners—such as LMI’s open, AV shuttle platform and Airbus’ positioning system for drones enabling easier and safer take-off and landing—Neorizon employees and customers can imagine and create solutions unforeseen to anyone else such as urban cargo.

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.

—Peter Weckesser, Digital Transformation Officer of Airbus Defense and Space

Neorizon’s headquarters and microfactory will be built at Airbus’ Ludwig-Bölkow-Campus near Munich, Germany in conjunction with an Innovation Campus including a new Technical University of Munich Campus.

The microfactory will bring 150-200 high tech jobs along with design and engineering apprenticeship opportunities for those still pursuing or without completed formal education. To facilitate consistent engagement and brainstorming, the microfactory comes complete with a built gathering space and an “innovation coffee shop” for Industry 4.0 leadership.

We will address local mobility issues by rapidly producing concepts, prototypes, products, and solutions, in collaboration with the local technological ecosystem.

—Benjamin Queisser, Neorizon CEO

Queisser is a senior executive with international business leadership experience spanning Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and North America. A native German, he’s entrepreneurial and a self-starter across various industries including automotive, energy, medical devices, and engineering solutions. Alongside Queisser is Albert Ishak, CFO, previously Financial Controller within the Airbus A400M program, who has led organizations across aerospace, agriculture, gaming, finance, and logistics.

The entirety of Neorizon’s leadership team consists of strong commercial and financial acumen from varied industries and countries able to tap into and draw from both LM Industries and Airbus’ cultures of innovation.

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.

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