Members of European Aerospace Cluster Partnership meet at Spain congress
EACP celebrates third birthday in Seville
HAMBURG, Germany - Three years ago, members of 24 European aviation organizations gathered in Hamburg to establish the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP). Today, the network – initiated and organized by Hamburg's Aviation Cluster – has grown to 39 members from 13 countries and has been enriched by a number of projects.
“One milestone, for example, is the support of the ‘EACP networking hub’ project by both the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg since October 2011,” reported Nadine Sablotny, EACP Project Manager, “Here, the cluster managers develop common strategies to strengthen Europe as an aviation location, exchange best practices at management level, and establish joint projects.”
One concrete example of a cooperation project which came out of the network is CARE – Clean Aerospace Regions. A few weeks ago, it was approved by the European Commission as part of the 7th EU Research Framework. Members are gathering for EACP’s third birthday at the international aviation congress, “Aerospace and Defense Meetings,” taking place in Seville from May 14 to 17. The event is being hosted by the Andalusian Aerospace Cluster Hélice.
EACP was founded and financed by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in May 2009 with the aim of translating the prevalent variety of competence and resources in Europe into commercial advantage. The distribution of the European aviation industry over many different locations is often criticized as a commercial disadvantage in comparison with competitors around the world. For three years now, EACP has been providing Europe’s aviation clusters with a platform for the mutual exchange of information and expertise, for initiating cross-border projects, and for simplifying collaboration and cooperation. At the same time, it represents the clusters' interests within political and economic contexts.
One exemplary project is CARE, which stands for Clean Aerospace Regions. The idea for the project came from the Aerospace Valley cluster in the Midi-Pyrénées & Aquitaine regions. Together with interested EACP partners, they produced a project recommendation for an EU tender, which has ultimately been approved by the EU Commission in the 7th EU Research Framework program. Nine clusters, including the Aviation Cluster Hamburg Metropolitan Region, are now engaged in three years of intensive research, commenced in February 2012, to identify areas in which aviation can become even more environmentally friendly. Existing measures and technologies in the field of “greener aviation” are also being investigated. At the end, a joint action plan will be developed to promote the implementation of green technologies.
CARE incorporates the two biggest working groups in EACP – “Internationalization” and “Skills & Innovation.” “This is what defines this European network: issues that go beyond national borders are discussed and acted upon,” explained Nadine Sablotny, “The focus in Seville will, therefore, also be on the issues of qualification, developing the next generation of personnel, and the mobility of specialists.” Hamburg’s delegates in Andalusia will include Marlène Lecamus from the “Arbeit und Leben Hamburg” mobility agency, Johannes Harpenau from the Hamburg University of Technology, and Dietmar Möller from the University of Hamburg. The aim is to promote the international exchange of trainees and students. The successful project already in place between Germany and France will serve as an example.
Apart from the many discussions, the EACP members will use their time in Seville to visit a number of companies and research facilities from the Spanish partner cluster Hélice and to inspect the final assembly line for the Airbus A400M. A Letter of Intent will also be signed with the French congress organizer Advanced Business Events (ABE). Among other things, the agreement will secure a 30 percent rebate on event fees for small- and medium-sized businesses within EACP’s member clusters. The clusters will also be given a free stand at trade fairs and congresses organized under the ABE brand “BCI Aerospace” along with a guarantee that at least three cluster players may participate.
The new “Aerospace & Defense Meetings” congress will also be organized by BCI Aerospace. The first event will be held in Seville from May 14 to 17. EACP members are gathering here from May 16 to 17. The next official EACP partner meeting is planned for Berlin at the ILA, September 11-16, 2012.