Airbus, LM Industries create mobility startup Neorizon

Airbus, LM Industries create mobility startup Neorizon

New venture to enable rapid product commercialization through co-creation, direct digital manufacturing.

October 15, 2019

Airbus and San Francisco, California-based digital manufacturer LM Industries have formed Neorizon to provide products initially focused on local mobility and autonomy. The Neorizon microfactory intends to build quickly and efficiently to allow products to be iterated regularly to match customer needs.

“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,” said Jay Rogers, CEO and founder of LM Industries. “Current transport infrastructure and existing mass manufacturing are too inflexible and capital intense to service evolving technology trends and changing consumer demands.”

Neorizon brings together the flexibility of professional digital manufacturing and the expertise of one of the world's leading aerospace and defense companies to answer mobility and manufacturing concerns. 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 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,” says Peter Weckesser, digital transformation officer of Airbus Defence and Space. (LM Industries is the parent company of Local Motors and Launch Forth.)

“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.”

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 to 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 brainstorms, the microfactory comes with an “innovation coffee shop” for Industry 4.0 leadership.

“Together with our employees, shareholders, and leading mobility and innovation companies in Germany and abroad, we will address local mobility issues by rapidly producing concepts, prototypes, products, and solutions, in collaboration with the local technological ecosystem,” said Benjamin Queisser, Neorizon CEO.

Queisser is a senior executive with vast international business leadership experience spanning Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and North America. A native German, he’s worked across 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.

Neorizon’s 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.