In the face of the crisis in the aviation industry, innovation is more important than ever before. Collaboration can be a key here, as a collaborative project of the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) shows.

With "EuroSME", members of the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP), supported by the European Union, have worked together over the last two years on a pipeline of cooperative, interregional investment projects for the aerospace industry. Recent figures show that the value of the cooperation programs under development amounts to over 50 million euros and involves 90 organizations. SMEs across Europe have been able to network in different regions to which they previously had difficulty accessing. The programme involved 300 SMEs, 46 clusters, 6 European regions, 20 technology centers and science parks from the countries of the European Union's COSME programme area.

In addition, the programme has identified the knowledge resources of innovation and competence centers in the 6 participating regions of Italy, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. These include local technological innovation centers, science parks or technology centers, universities and research centers in the aerospace sector. The resources covered include declared technology transfer activities, research expertise and services offered, all aimed at accelerating progress and reducing costs.

New collaborative business opportunities were promoted through events and thematic webinars. The strategic opportunities for new business models through the national, European and increasingly global focus on aerospace recycling were also shared and discussed. Sources for public and private investment financing were identified and assigned to the projects.

The project is managed by the DAC (Campania Aerospace District - Italy) and is carried out in cooperation with five European clusters: Hamburg Aviation (Germany), Moravian Aerospace Cluster (Czech Republic), TeRN (Basilicata Technologies for Earth Observation and Natural Risks District, Italy), Aerospace Valley (France) and Northwest Aerospace Alliance (UK).

The EuroSME program will be completed by the end of September. "We hope that the EACP will be able to continue the work through its Technology Working Group, where this can be supported by appropriate funding" wishes Gennaro Russo, EuroSME Project Manager on behalf of the DAC. Any SME that wants to develop innovative project ideas and is interested in new cooperations that reduce risks and create opportunities can contact us if they are interested.