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RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SEND THE LOMBARDIA AEROSPACE CLUSTER SOARING
With a unique production model that focuses on research and a system for developing knowledge spanning all situations relating to the production network, from the smallest to the most structured, the Lombardia Aerospace Cluster maintains its leading position through the organisational structure it has adopted. Over the years this has allowed the manufacturers to develop highly innovative prototypes admired throughout the world. The latest reports by the study centre show that the aggregate value of exports reached 1.4 billion euros, with the total amount for the sector exceeding 4 billion.
“One of the goals we have always pursued,” explains Giorgio Brazzelli, President of the Lombardia Aerospace Cluster, “has been to create opportunities for greater international visibility to benefit the wealth of small and medium enterprises that form the foundation of the pyramid formed by the regional production system. It is a role that the District has held worldwide for some time now by participating in the most important trade fair events, representing the whole Lombard industrial sector”. Much equipment has been designed and made within the supply chain of the ICT district in Lombardy. The prototypes – which are requested all over the world – are admired for their quality and the excellence of the technologies used.
Rotar aviation is one of these sectors, and its supply continues to find an outlet in both military and paramilitary contexts as it offers the possibility of custom configurations for special applications. The driving force behind the business is the eight medium to large enterprises that created a network system with over 200 local companies involved in the production and related industries. The strongly hierarchical system between the players allows for a well-ordered production structure in which all of the companies play a key role in research and development. As it is an ICT sector, 14% of the turnover in the aerospace field is invested in research. The statistics also indicate that 10% of the production of patents in Italy actually comes from aerospace. Rotary aviation remains a sector of excellence, even though the areas of expertise have grown considerably: the ‘Made in Italy’ aerospace brand also dominates training vehicles, satellites and all on-board equipment for navigation and communication.
Italian avionics remains highly respected, especially in the USA, where annual exports exceeded 154 million euros, almost 11% of the sector total. Other major countries for the district’s exports include: Malaysia (111m; 8%), Japan (104m; 7.5%), France (80m; 5.7%), the Netherlands (76m; 5.5%) and the United Kingdom (70m; 5%).
“The Lombardia Aerospace Cluster”, Brazzelli continues, “has managed to make itself known by highlighting its own specialisms, its ability to create a system, and its technological skills. The most important world operators in the sector today view the Lombard SMEs as a reference point, with a strong impact in terms of international image, thanks to the coordination formed between the companies in the area.” Worldwide accreditation in the ICT aerospace sector has driven them to propose partnerships with the major research centres located in Italian universities that work closely with commercial operators. It is a shared work platform that continues to substantiate the quality of the Italian aerospace industry in the global context.