The Andalusian aerospace industry to strengthen links with prime European aerospace players

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Oct 18, 2012

The Portuguese city of Lisbon become the meeting point for the European prime aerospace players last week when the ASD convention, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, took place and had the participation of the Hélice Andalusian aerospace cluster which represents the Andalusian industry.

As the largest and most important annual meeting for the European aerospace industry, this event annually helps formally ratify the ASD presidency handover, even though this new session has seen itself enriched by the organizers with conferences which involved the participation of delegates representatives of European associations, in addition to members of the boards of Directors of Prime Contractors, European Commissioners and members of the European Parliament. Additionally, high level representatives from European and international bodies were also present. At the same time, a visit programme to the most outstanding Portuguese aerospace cluster premises as well as the organization of a Technology Forum was held. This Technology Forum was aimed at offering a real opportunity for networking, the exchange of business and technical information and the promotion of cooperation in the area of Ideas and Talent, among the participating companies and research and education establishments.

This Technology Forum was targeted at Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Supply Chain Companies (SCCs), Universities and Research Institutes and provided a platform for business and technology interchange. According to ASD Secretary General, Michael von Gizycki “this initiative has represented a unique opportunity to stimulate cooperation, raise ideas, promote talents and initiate partnerships for future Research & Technology projects and training programmes for young people from an early age onwards”.

The Andalusian participation has been intended to strengthen the links of collaboration between the Hélice Cluster and the most important aerospace bodies and enterprises in Europe. Like this, Hélice’s director, Manuel Cruz, participated at a round table about the clusters’ role in supporting a strong supply base, providing the Andalusian model as an example. In addition, Andalusian representatives participated at the plenary sessions where the recent development of the aerospace industry was analyzed as well as the phenomenal strategic keys to keep boosting its future.

Hélice, through its president, Juan Pedro Vela, also had active presence at the Technology Forum when he met with managers of great aerospace companies and corporations such as Airbus Military, Indra, PEMAS (Portuguese Aerospace Industry Association), Hegan (Basque Aerospace Cluster), EEA (Empresa de Engenharia Aeronautica), Accenture, Novabase, etc. Resulted from this contacts and  mutual interest, institucional visits will be held soon which may concrete in possible agreements with Andalusian companies. At the same time, meetings with different entities were encouraged which may ease the participation of Hélice, by itself or grouped with other institutions, in the future Framework Programme “Horizon 2020” and its associated technological platforms like the programmes Clean Sky II or SESAR.

Within the same Forum, the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) held a special meeting about Strategy. After Hegan’s presentation about its strategy actions, Simón Vázquez, Agencia IDEA and Hélice Cluster’s executive consultant gave a speech about the Smart Specialization Strategies and the clusters’ role when implanting, executing and evaluating such R&D policies for the economical growth in the European regions.

The Andalusian participation also involved the attendance of some of the most outstanding aerospace companies such as Ghenova, Alten, Galvatec or Indaero-Tecnigrab, which reached satisfactory results as well as per business contacts and meetings with other important European aerospace firms. 

The ASD 2012 annual convention was organized by the AICEP Portugal Global, the Development and Trade Agency of Portugal and DANOTEC, Portuguese Association of Defence and New Technology Companies, involving some 1,000 professionals from enterprises and entities such as EADS, Embraer, Safran, Thales, Pratt & Whitney, Astrium, OGMA, Fokker, Cassidian, Rolls Royce, European Commission, the European Space Agency, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the European Defence Agency.