Connecting to the space industry involves the opportunity of economic success, Deputy State Secretary for Infocommunication Károly Balázs Solymár said on the occasion that a long-term agreement was signed between Aluinvent Ltd. and the European Space Agency in Budapest, on 25 February 2014. The cooperation targets the manufacturing and testing of ultra light aluminium foam product prototypes to be used as space industry applications.

The success of Hungarian engineers illustrates that Hungary has a place in space industry, which does not mean abstract research activities but technological developments of high added value that bring significant earthly profit, Károly Balázs Solymár pointed out.

Photo: Péter Klein

ESA has been the most important strategic partner for Hungarian space research for over a decade. The intergovernmental organisation comprising 20 European countries is primarily responsible for setting the major development directions of European space research, designing and implementing space research programmes and coordinating the related financial and intellectual capacities. Hungary is not a full-fledged member of ESA at the moment but it started negotiations towards membership in 2013.

The Deputy State Secretary also revealed that, through the payment of its ESA membership fees, the Hungarian government has been able to contribute to launching the development and manufacturing of the aluminium foam by some HUF 90 million so far. The increased international interest in the product also proves that there is increased return for investments in these fields. Full-fledged membership in ESA may involve advantages for Hungarian SME’s well beyond their current opportunities, Károly Balázs Solymár emphasised.

Aluinvent Ltd., which operates a materials technology development and manufacturing centre near Miskolc is a Hungarian startup launched in 2012. The company aims to make Hungary and Miskolc a global hub for metal foam manufacturing and related research activities, thereby also contributing to improving the employment situation in the region.

Photo: Péter Klein

The aluminium foam product developed and manufactured by the knowledge-based company is an ultra light, tractable, recyclable and environment friendly material with special mechanical features. Its unique characteristics and the low costs of the manufacturing technology make it extremely competitive against light metals and technical plastic. There is significant interest in the product in the United States, China and Germany as well. The agreement with the Space Agency opens up new horizons for the enterprise and facilitates the future large-scale dissemination of the to-be-developed unique and cost efficient products in the space industry.