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A European Anniversary at the Berlin Air Show: the EACP is turning 5

19.05.2014InternationalCompanies and Organisations

The Hamburg-based European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) has become a successful network and worthy advertisement for European aviation.

The international aerospace industry was gathering once again for the ILA Berlin Air Show, being held at the gates of the national capital from 20 to 25 May. And this year there was an extra reason to celebrate at the Hamburg Aviation booth (Hall 3 / 3415): five years ago, the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) was born - a joint "think tank" for Europe's key aviation centres, which has become a genuine European success story. Today, the initiative has some 41 members from 14 countries, and in 2013 it was one of 13 European networks accepted into the EU's ESCP (European Strategic Cluster Partnership) funding programmes.

EACP serves as a platform for Europe's aviation centres, a place where they can share information, launch cross-border projects, and make the industry more visible - for example as a central contact for the EU when it comes to aviation issues. The primary goal is to strengthen Europe's position in this fiercely competitive international industry. According to the Harvard Business School, the distribution of Europe's aviation industry amongst a large number of different locations is a substantial competitive disadvantage in the battle against competitors from around the world. At the same time, however, the preeminent variety of competencies and resources in Europe represents a potential competitive advantage that remains unexploited. In this respect, EACP serves as a cooperation platform for regional cluster organisations and local associations.

The ILA Berlin Air Show, in the heart of Europe, was the ideal venue for the fifth anniversary gathering of partners from east and west. Numerous EACP members were present at the Air Show, one of the industry's most important international gatherings, with their own booths, including a joint EACP booth for BBAA (Germany), AerospaceCluster Rhône-Alpes (France), Pôle Pégase (France), and AERA (Spain) in the International Supplier Center. As in previous years, Hamburg was represented in the northern German area in Hall 3 at a booth shared with Aviabelt Bremen, Hanse Aerospace, the Center for Applied Aeronautical Research (ZAL), and the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW).

Hamburg, Europe's second-largest aviation location, initiated the EACP network in 2009 and has provided the co-ordinating office and headquarters in Hamburg ever since. "Since it's foundation, EACP has developed marvellously, not least because of the great personal dedication of all those involved. Hamburg is the hub and anchor for the initiative, the place where Europe's aviation clusters exchange. The EACP has been a significant boost to Hamburg's international image," reported a delighted Senator Frank Horch, Minister for the Economy, Transport, and Innovation in the Hamburg State Government, who joined the EACP festivities at ILA.

Aerospace Valley, the cluster around Toulouse, Europe's largest aviation centre, has also been active from day one. "The European Idea was behind the birth of Airbus and also of EACP. In the seventies, Airbus successfully united aircraft manufacturers from various countries under a single roof. With EACP, we have created a Europe-wide forum where players from various countries - ranging from suppliers to universities - can learn from each other and develop together," says Thilos Schoenfeld, Deputy Director International Affairs at Aerospace Valley.

In recent months, the focus of EACP has extended to eastern Europe in particular. At the centre of these activities is the EU project "BEAWARE" (Bridging East and West Aerospace Regions), whereby aviation players from western and eastern Europe are networking and cooperating on research and development projects. "The innovation potential of the aviation industry in eastern Europe continues to be underestimated. This just makes us even more delighted that more and more partners from east and west are interacting with one another and now, thanks to "BEAWARE", engaging in definite cooperation," says Mihaly Hideg from EACP member HAC (Hungarian Aerospace Cluster).

The commercial aspects of this European interconnectedness are vast. The region of Andalusia alone exported a record 150 million euros of aviation goods to Germany in 2013. "Our dedication is paying off," emphasises Nadine Sablotny, EACP Project Manager from the 'Head Office', at Hamburg Aviation. "And not just in monetary terms, either. With the CARE project (Clean Aerospace Regions), EACP has established a pan-European research project for "greener" aviation, and our European Skills Hub for Aerospace project has been accepted into the EU's Leonardo da Vinci funding programme. So there are plenty of reasons to celebrate in Berlin this year!"


Questions about the EACP should be directed to

Nadine Sablotny

Manager International Affairs

Phone: +49 40 2270 19 478
Mobile: +49 151 6282 1823
Fax:+ 49 40 2270 19 784

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