Boeing is set to open a new research and development centre in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) new Kendall Square mixed-use complex.

The company has agreed to lease a 100,000ft² research and lab space inside Kendall Square to accommodate employees from its own company and subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences.

The new Boeing Aerospace and Autonomy Center will be developed to concentrate on designing, building and flying autonomous aircraft, as well as developing related technologies.

Due to open by 2020, the centre is also set to help develop new technologies for Boeing’s NeXt initiative, which aims to develop a next-generation airspace management system to facilitate the safe coexistence of piloted and autonomous vehicles.

Boeing chief technology officer Greg Hyslop said: “Boeing is leading the development of new autonomous vehicles and future transportation systems that will bring flight closer to home.”

“By investing in this new research facility, we are creating a hub where our engineers can collaborate with other Boeing engineers and research partners around the world, and leverage the Cambridge innovation ecosystem.”

“We are creating a hub where our engineers can collaborate with other Boeing engineers and research partners around the world, and leverage the Cambridge innovation ecosystem.”

Boeing Aerospace and Autonomy Center is also expected to allow MIT to fulfil its strategy of promoting vibrancy and diversity in Kendall Square.

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With the Kendall Square initiative, MIT intends to build six buildings to house a mix of lab and research, office, housing, and retail space.

MIT Provost Martin Schmidt said: “It’s fitting that Boeing will join the Kendall / MIT innovation family.

“Our research interests have been intertwined for over 100 years, and we’ve worked together to advance world-changing aerospace technologies and systems.

“MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the oldest programme of its kind in the US, and excels at its mission of developing new air transportation concepts, autonomous systems and small satellites through an intensive focus on cutting-edge education and research.”

Last year, Boeing played the role of a lead sponsor for an $18m project to replace MIT’s Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel.