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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.