EACP Intercluster-Collaborational Meeting

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10.01.2017 11:25 Age: 222 days

EACP Intercluster-Collaborational Meeting

By: Lavanya Sreeranganathan

October 25-26th, 2016

Thanks to the RUE AERO project, the cluster managers of the EACP were able to meet for an Intercluster Collaboration Training in Lisbon, Portugal from October 25-26th 2016. This meeting made it possible for almost all of EACP’s members to meet at the same place, which made it the biggest meeting the EACP has ever been able to organize. More than 40 representatives of various European Aerospace Clusters got together to discuss events and projects of the past year as well as upcoming tasks and opportunities for the EACP.

The EACP offers a platform for aerospace cluster managers to exchange and share information on their daily business, European projects, best-practices for cluster excellence and member support, as well as information that supports the B2B-partner search for clusters members. The Intercluster Collaborational Training was followed by the Portuguese AED Days conference that took place in Lisbon on October 27-28th.

The participation rate of the meeting was astoundingly high, which emphasized the current importance and continuously growing relevance of the EACP as a European network. The steady growth of the EACP shows the constant relevance, visibility and acknowledgement the network receives all over Europe and beyond. This was also evident judging by the large influx of new membership applications the EACP received this year. Consequently, there were also several new members present at the meeting, which provided a great opportunity to conduct a strategic workshop on how the EACP intends to lay out its role for the future. The newest members hail from an array of different places in Europe: Normandie AeroEspace (France), Moravian Aerospace Cluster (Czech Republic), OSSA (Turkey), Aerospace Forum Wales (Great Britain), Midlands Aerospace (Great Britain), NAG (Netherlands) and DTA (Italy).

The training thus brought all members up to date about projects and proposals, strategic planning and objectives, and the latest developments regarding cluster excellence and aerospace topics on the European level. Besides the annual reports there was a particularly great volume of input to be shared this year as a few trainings in different fields of interest had already been conducted thanks to the RUE AERO project. The insights that were derived from this training were shared with and processed by all cluster managers on a grand scale. This way, the participants could deliberate on how they would continue working on the newly won insights, what kind of projects and cooperation could be initiated through them and how this knowledge can best be passed on to all members of the individual clusters.

As a decentralized and a non-hierarchical organization, the EACP thrives from the involvement of its members and their honest and respectful interactions with each other. Currently, the network operates through four working groups: Strategy, Technology, Internationalisation and Skills. All four working groups presented their efforts and their achievements from the previous year. From the various discussions the partners had during the meeting they were also able to identify several new tasks, project ideas and joint challenges they could work on together.

Having this training in Lisbon not only provided for a beautiful atmosphere in a charming city but also came with the perk of being able to do a factory visit of Embraer in Evora. This tour was a novel and unique experience even for most of the experienced professional cluster managers. The EACP was thus immensely grateful and happy to have been invited to Lisbon by one of its founding members, PEMAS, who has also been one of the most dedicated and committed members of the EACP from the very beginning of this fruitful partnership.