In order to successfully compete on a global level, it has become crucial for Europe to actively improve its potential in terms of innovation and to collaborate among regions and industry clusters. The European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) provides a permanent platform for mutual exchange, policy learning, and cooperation to achieve high-level performance among European aerospace clusters. It focuses on the exchange of experiences concerning both cluster policy and the implementation of effective solutions needed to address various challenges faced by the partners. Founded in 2009, the EACP currently consists of a network of 45 aerospace clusters from 18 European countries, thereby covering large parts of the entire aerospace value chain in Europe.
The aerospace industry is currently experiencing profound changes. With new players such as China, India, Brazil and Russia entering the market, global competition is steadily increasing. Whilst long-term growth predictions are generally positive, continued success can only be achieved by those who excel at developing and implementing innovative product and service concepts, particularly with regard to environmental and ecologically sustainable issues. In order to serve the global market and sell technologically highly specialized products, cooperation between companies as well as entire regions is essential. It is only in a cooperative environment in which partners interact and give and take on an equal basis that a win-win situation can be achieved. With a strong foundation based on experience and trust, cooperation within the EACP is taken to a higher level. This includes the establishment of a common place for work, qualification, and scientific research for all players within the European aerospace industry.
Start of partnership:
In 2009, on the initiative of the ministry of economy of the city of Hamburg, the EACP was established within the framework of CLUNET. This was a PRO INNO EUROPE project that not only encouraged the exchange of experiences, but also supported the implementation of concrete pilot projects regarding cluster innovation and development policies. Since then, the EACP has developed into a permanent partnership between collaborating European aerospace clusters. Although limited to the aerospace industry, the partnership also serves as a benchmark project for other industry sectors. In 2013, the EACP was recognised by the European Commission as one of thirteen „European Strategic Cluster Partnerships“ (ESCP). With this award, the Commission acknowledges the efforts of the EACP efforts to improve global competitiveness by supporting pan-European collaboration and implementing joint strategies needed to enter new markets outside of Europe. Since the inauguration of the EACP, it has managed to produce numerous success stories of emerged clusters, B2B partner finding for cluster members, joint projects on a bilateral or multinational level, etc.
Vision & Objectives:
The EACP network operates in an informal, decentralised and flexible way that is based on an organisational set of continuous working groups, temporary project consortia and bi- or multilateral ad-hoc partnerships. The main objective resides in improving the global competitiveness in Europe through intense inter-cluster collaboration. This goal is pursued within three major fields of action:
1. Knowledge exchange:
- Cluster excellence
- Funding schemes
- Role of clusters
2. Push Innovation:
- Skills & qualification
- EU projects
- Connect member clusters
3. Strengthening the EU-Position:
- Supply chain infrastructure
- Global competitiveness
The common goal:
By establishing closer inter-cluster relations to provide added value to the overall market and especially SMEs, the EACP shapes the relationship between clusters, industry stakeholders and policy makers. The EACP further stimulates the creation of innovation, thus aiming to strengthen the EU’s overall position within the global aerospace market.
Stakeholders represented by the EACP:
EACP membership is open to aerospace clusters in member states of the European Union and adjacent countries. In order to be admitted to the network, a member must represent all segments of the regional aerospace sector, including industry, R&D and administrative bodies. The main focus should be on civil aviation, with a minimum of 60% of the represented stakeholders coming from this field.
How we operate:
Hamburg Aviation manages the networking hub, which acts as the focal point and forwards all information and/or requests to the addressed group, person or cluster organisation. The hub gives the European aerospace clusters a permanent platform for information exchanges, policy studies and creation of consortia. Also the networking hub manager together with five EACP EU-Representatives raise awareness for the EACP and establish a direct link between European policy institutions and said European aerospace clusters.
The EACP itself operates through its working groups. In order to encourage transnational cooperation on a strategic level, the EACP provides each member with the opportunity to participate in those working groups. Currently, the cluster managers work on five different fields of interest: Strategy, Internationalisation, Skills, Supply Chain & Technology (SC&T), and UAV. Each working group is managed by a different member. In those working groups, the cluster managers discuss, exchange and/or develop new ideas/ways to strengthen their cluster members within these specific fields. The working groups also serve as a constructive platform to develop new ideas, which have already materialized into various projects that received concrete EU-funding and drew attention to urgent challenges of the European aerospace sector and possible solutions.
Participation in EU-Research-Projects
Quick and easy partner search
Pool of contacts to 45 regions in 18 countries
Support for meeting regional actors of your interest
Support for questions of industrial locations
Better design of calls for proposals
Funding programmes and procedures closer to reality
Closer European aerospace world harmonization of training programmes
Flexibility and mobility of workforce
Joint delegation trips outside Europe
Harmonized schedule of aerospace events
- EASN (European Aeronautics Science Network): MoU to work closer together
- Silicon Europe: LoI to support each other internationalisation activities by ESCPP-4i
- Pôle Européen de la Ceramique: LoI to promote cooperation in mutually valuable projects
Networking hub manager: Anna Maaßen
info [at] eacp-aero.eu