Back in 2009 a European aerospace partnership was formed to further the goal of successfully competing on a global level. The group believed that it was crucial for Europe to actively improve its potential in terms of innovation and to collaborate among regions and industry clusters. Thus, the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) was formed.
The European Aerospace Cluster Partnership works to provide “a permanent platform for mutual exchange, policy learning and cooperation to achieve high-level performance among European aerospace clusters,” the group says. It focuses on the exchange of experiences concerning both cluster policy and the implementation of effective solutions needed to address various challenges faced by the partners. The EACP currently consists of a network of 45 aerospace clusters from 18 European countries, thereby covering large parts of the entire aerospace value chain in Europe. More than 900 companies participate in the partnership.
The EACP is active and visible throughout the aerospace industry in Europe. The partnership says they strive to establish trustworthy relations through close interaction and open collaboration among European aerospace regions. The EACP acts as a platform for a mutual exchange of ideas and pushes innovation among their partners.
The modus operandi of the EACP network is collaboration in an informal, decentralized and flexible way that is based on an organizational set of continuous working groups, temporary project consortia and bi- or multilateral ad-hoc partnerships. They say their main objective is to improve the global competitiveness of European aerospace companies through intense inter-cluster collaboration. The group says they are achieving their goal by pursuing three fields of action, knowledge exchange, pushing innovation and strengthening the EU position.
The group says that by establishing closer inter-cluster relations the EACP shapes the relationship between clusters, industry stakeholders and policy makers. The EACP further then aims to stimulate the creation of innovation and to strengthen the EU’s overall position within the global aerospace market.
EACP members are encouraged to network among the pool of contacts from 45 regions and 18 countries, are offered B2B matching and participation in EU research projects and many other benefits.
The Future of Aviation is Now
EACP says there is a need to rethink how innovators and enterprises can be supported on a European, national and regional level and which tools can be provided to leverage that support. Together with partners from the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, EACP Clusters, SMEs and Aerospace Tech Week, the EACP Innovation Forum aims to improve the access to the green aviation economy for SMEs and the challenges they face.
In this framework, the EACP Sustainable Innovation Awards program was recently held, and the winners were officially presented. The awards celebrate the greenest and most disruptive SMEs or Start-Ups in the EACP network. The aim of the event is to highlight the importance of the supply chain as it relates to clean aviation, raising awareness among industrial and political stakeholders. A jury composed by industry experts evaluated projects from participating companies and selected the winners based on their potential to disrupt and pave the way to a zero-emission future.
The award ceremony was held on Wednesday, 22nd June and here are the winners:
Other entrants worth mentioning included the following:
Pariani’s SMART IFE (In Flight Entertainment) and CMS (Cabin Management System) for aircrafts, helicopters and small planes used for business and VIP transport. Parliani called it is the “first system of its kind natively HTML5 and perfectly integrated with any personal mobile device like smartphones, tablets, laptops on board without the need to install any application (no setup needed).” Its submission also said as a synchronous network, SMART would provide “excellent quality of service and seamless connectivity for audio/video streaming.”
SATLANTIS, a Spanish SME specializing in high and very high-resolution Earth Observation (EO) solutions relying on innovative EO technological capabilities, offering solutions built around the proprietary optical payload iSIM camera (integrated Standard Imager for Microsatellites). The optical payload, while the satellite is flying, allows to produce data that once analyzed to have an impact on environmental care, through innovative solutions fostering end-users’ participation towards sustainability, including climate change, contamination due to plastics at sea, algal blooms, green-house gases detection or early fire detection, among others. The company said it translates the “language of light for end-users’ needs, capturing critical spectral information through software, hardware and services for remote sensing applications.” Earth Observation technologies aims at contributing to the resolution of major environmental problems that are important for the green objectives and are demanded by specific End-users, hence fostering the actions towards energy transition through innovation.
LMA Aerospace Technology submitted proof of concept of a new drone, powered by a custom hydrogen fuel cell. The drone is a wing body configuration and is made entirely by additive manufacturing. This manufacturing process enhanced the iterative design required to test and validate different configurations and to scale the product to fit the pressurized tank and the fuel cell.
Additive manufacturing specialists 3DnA submitted for consideration their joint permanent lab. 3DnA has built the lab at the University of Naples called Additive Manufacturing Under Vesuvius (AMUV) in partnership with the academic departments of materials engineering.
Many companies applied for the EACP Innovation Award, showcasing the potential of the European supply chain in the transition towards green aviation. The EACP says it is now their responsibility to harvest the potential of the winning products through ad hoc funding and creating the right environment to improve market access for these companies.