European Company mission visiting the world's largest aerospace cluster Seattle

Submitted by Steinkemper on 03 March 2017

Led by the state initiative Niedersachsen Aviation a delegation of 30 representatives of aerospace companies from Germany, France, Spain and the UK has finished its mission to the world's largest aerospace cluster in Seattle, USA. As part of a one-week-mission the group visited the PNAA-Conference, a premier aerospace conference organized annually by the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

The delegation together with Melanie Jordan, PNAA Executive Director

Niedersachsen Aviation has organized company missions to Washington since 2010. This year's mission combined organizations from the entire network of the European Aerospace Partnership (EACP) for the first time, conducting a true European business mission. Organized by the EU-COSME funded project EACP ABROAD 30 participants from 23 companies, clusters and public institutions visited the largest aerospace cluster worldwide. Please find an overview of the participating companies in the attached mission brochure.

The objective of the mission was to support business development and market access for European companies, mainly Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), and to further the international collaboration of aerospace clusters.

Niedersachsen Aviation has developed an intensive collaboration with the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) since 2010, the local partner cluster for EACP. This trustful and well-established collaboration has been an important and successful basis to support the participants in their business development efforts. The feedback of the participants has been very positive and EACP is expecting a good impact for international business relations between both regions.

The group fulfilled a comprehensive programme in Seattle. An "European Business Breakfast", which was organized jointly by Niedersachsen Aviation and the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Seattle, offered the opportunity to get in touch with the Boeing Company and the surrounding supplier community. More than 50 participants from Europe and the U.S., including 8 large system suppliers and numerous small and medium sized suppliers were participating. John Byrne, Director of Supplier Management Common Commodities and Supply Chain Strategy at Boeing, and John Thornquist, Head of the Governor's Office of Aerospace at the State of Washington, presented challenges and opportunities in the local aerospace market.

Beside individual meetings, site visits and many networking opportunities participation at the PNAA-Conference was a core activity of the mission. The delegation draw attention of many conference participants. The 1st-Tier suppliers Diehl Aerosystems, Premium AEROTEC and Broetje-Automation provided insight on how the german aerospace industry keeps it’s competitiveness on a permanent high level through fostering innovation, integration and digitalization.

The successful company mission to Seattle was the kick-off for in total six European company missions, which are realized by the EACP ABROAD consortium in 2017. Each mission is organized by one European aerospace cluster. These are the dates and target regions for the 2017 company missions worldwide:

  • PNAA Conference Seattle, Seattle, USA – February 13-17

  • Famex Airshow Mexico, Queretaro, Mexico – April 26-29

  • Aeromart B2B convention Nagoya, Japan – September 26-28

  • AIAC Aerospace Summit Ottawa, Canada – November 7-8

  • Dubai Airshow  Dubai – November 12-16

  • Aerospace meeting São José dos Campos, Brazil – December 5-7

Companies interested in joining any of the missions please contact Norbert Steinkemper:steinkemper [at] Tel: +49 40 355 103 424


EACP ABROAD EACP ABROAD is an ambitious project to implement EACP‘s joint internationalisation strategy. Being recognized as a European Strategic Cluster Partnership (ESCP4i) in the EU-COSME programme to support Small and Medium sized enterprises in Europe, EACP ABROAD supports the expansion of a global co-operation framework between aerospace clusters.ABROAD proposes a programme that will

  • deepen links between EACP members and foreign regions on a global scale

  • introduce European SMEs on international level

  • foster new international businesses and the emergence of international R&T cooperation

  • provide international matchmaking opportunities and participate at international matchmaking events

  • induce operational collaboration with the international partners.

The EACP ABROAD project belongs to the "Clusters Go International" COSME call and is financed by the European Commission DG GROW.

About EACP

The European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) is a network of 40 European aerospace clusters from 15 countries. The EACP provides a permanent platform for mutual exchange, policy learning, and cooperation to achieve high-level performance among European aerospace clusters.See more information about EACP:

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