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Teaming to Extend Maltese Ambitions in the Aerospace Sector

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TEMARA (Teaming to Extend Maltese Ambitions in the Aerospace Sector)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

TEMARA is a teaming project between the Nederlands Lucht- en Ruimtevaartcentrum (NLR – the Dutch National Aerospace Centre), the Malta Ministry for Tourism (MoT – responsible for Aviation) and the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) within the Ministry for Education and Employment. The project supports the establishment of a National Aerospace Centre (NAC) in Malta as a Centre of Excellence in aerospace Research and Innovation (R&I) and its business plan. TEMARA consist of two phases, with the first phase being a 1-year action plan for the creation of a Business Plan for the Centre of Excellence, and the second phase is a 6 year Framework Partnership Agreement for the financing of the operations of the NAC.

TEMARA aims to address the lack of a dedicated local centre of excellence in aerospace R&I within the Maltese Islands that is independent of academia. The aim of the centre of excellence is to increase the R&I investment further to the effort provided by the local industry in terms of human resources, financial resources and time. TEMARA is important to society because;
• TEMARA will further contribute to maximising the impact of Horizon 2020, as it focuses on societal challenges with high potential for sustainable competitiveness, innovation and grow-focus areas.
• TEMARA will contribute towards the development of critical mass in specific key technology areas of interest to the national and European aerospace industry.
• TEMARA will contribute to an increase in Maltese R&I performance as a Member State (over 100,000 research hours over 6 years), raise the national R&I activity as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and address the internal disparities in terms of R&I performance within the European Union.
• TEMARA will impact the Maltese national industry through the attraction of foreign investment in the aerospace industry.
• TEMARA will also contribute towards the creation of high qualification jobs and will mainly target graduates and professionals in R&I and administrative roles.
• Through TEMARA, the NAC will act as a catalyst in consolidating the local aviation cluster by acting as a focal point, bringing together all local stakeholders to generate an ‘aerospace valley’ modelled on existent successful clusters.
• TEMARA will also provide a stimulus for the establishment of additional national research centres.

TEMARA Phase 1 has been financed within the framework of European Commission (EC)’s Horizon 2020 programme through a Grant Agreement, dated 12 May 2015, between the Research Executive Agency (REA) of the EC and the Consortium. Phase 1 was successfully completed in May 2016 with the submission of the business plan. The business plan illustrates that the overall strategic objective of the National Aerospace Centre is to become a sustainable Centre of Excellence providing a service to national stakeholders in the Aerospace sector. Moreover the plan explains how the NAC intends to become a leader in the global research field through the provision of a state-of-the-art research facility and the development of a renowned critical mass of professional researchers. This will be achieved by undertaking extensive investment on the latest research equipment in aerospace.

The objectives of this project were:
Objective 1: To develop a detailed business plan for NAC to be implemented during TEMARA Phase 2 which defines the operational model with guidance from NLR.
Objective 2: To develop the Description of Work (DOW) for TEMARA Phase 2 and apply for Phase 2 funding.
Objective 3: To start long-term teaming between NLR and NAC to facilitate future collaboration. This was achieved with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

TEMARA phase 1 entailed a total of five work packages, which are presented hereunder:
1. Project Management – This work package ensured that the project was successfully managed and all tasks were executed.
2. Long-Term Science and Innov
Phase 1 of TEMARA initiated on 1 June 2015 (Month 1) and was concluded on 31 May 2016 (Month 12). As explained in the TEMARA Work Plan, tasks were grouped in 5 work packages, containing detailed description of tasks with a clear definition of different partners’ contributions and identification of associated milestones and deliverables:

Work Package 1: Project Management
MoT was responsible for the management of the project in order to ensure that the different tasks were performed according to the project plan. Specific activities included:
- Preparing and holding a kick-off meeting with Teaming partners
- 6 Progress Meetings
- Completing 6 Progress Reports

Work Package 2: Long-Term Science and Innovation Strategy for the NAC
This WP was initiated in July 2015 (M2) and ended in November 2015 (M6), through which a document detailing the long-term Science and Innovation strategy of the NAC was presented.( D2.5 “Science and Innovation Strategy for NAC”).

In this respect MoT performed a market overview and strategic planning report. For the market overview and strategic planning, MCST performed an analysis on the local civil aviation and aerospace industry market trends and policy. The consortium held meetings with the Marketing Advisory Services (MAS), to develop a market overview report.

MCST was actively involved with MoT in conducting 22 one-to-one interviews with 17 local potential NAC stakeholders and helped compile feedback for needs, models of cooperation and proposals for R&I areas. Further feedback was gathered through a workshop with the participation of potential stakeholders.
MCST and NLR provided advise related to NAC`s role within Malta`s smart specialisation strategy, and feedback to the mentioned submitted documents. Within this work package, MCST was the prime contributor to a benchmarking exercise of NAC’s areas of activity. The exercise benchmarked NAC’s expected operations against other state-of-the-art centres (deliverable D.2.2 “Benchmarking Report”).

In addition, MCST performed an analysis of the international policy in civil aviation and aerospace together with a review of international trends and projects in aviation/aerospace R&I. This research was instrumental for the development of the Science and Innovation strategy.

Work Package 3: Preparation for a new Business Plan
This work package identified the factors which would influence the development of a business plan for NAC. As part of the preparatory phase for the development of the NAC business plan, the consortium held meetings to discuss the types and areas of research and innovation to be addressed within the business plan, external parties/groups which would be targeted, and NAC’s key performance indicators. Eventually a workshop was organised to summarise to consolidate all this work.

Following the Workshop of WP 2, MCST drafted an updated SWOT analysis of the industry from a technical perspective. MCST also participated in a risk management session held by the consortium which served as a basis for risk management activities. The updated SWOT analysis was incorporated in deliverable D.3.2 “SWOT Analysis and Risk Assessment Report” which also detailed the foreseen operational risks.

In addition, a study was also carried out on the development of sustainability strategy for the NAC and deliverable D3.3 “Sustainability Analysis Strategy” was submitted. This deliverable included a list of suggestions that NAC needed to address in order to ensure sustainability. These suggestions were addressed throughout the duration of TEMARA phase 1.

Work Package4: Development of a Business Plan for the NAC
Activities within this work package included:
The identification of the services to be offered by NAC. As a result, deliverable D4.1 “List of services offered by NAC” was developed and submitted. All project partners contributed towards the development of this deliverable, in particular MCST participated in meetings orga
The establishment of the NAC as a centre of excellence will contribute towards progress beyond state of the art not only on a local level, but also on an international level. Through its operations, the NAC will create innovations and provide services that will support the local aerospace industry and address the needs of the global aerospace industry. This will result into an economical yield for the country and at the same time increase the number of highly qualified people within the local aerospace industry.

On a local level, the establishment of the NAC as a centre of excellence will mark an unprecedented landmark in the history of the Maltese aerospace industry since it will be the first time that such a research institution is set up independently of academia. The expected potential impact of such an establishment includes the increase in the R&I participation of the country, the attraction of foreign investment to the country, the establishment of critical mass in key technology areas, the generation of high qualification jobs, and the continued competitiveness of the local industry.

Progress beyond state of the art at a local level is mainly reflected through the opportunities that will be made available through the NAC that were previously non-existent on the island. Examples of such opportunities include the expertise (researchers) in key aerospace topics (chosen in alliance with NLR) that will be made available to academia and local industry, the provision of equipment and facilities that are currently non-existent on the island, and the opportunities for collaboration between NAC, academia and local industry on R&I projects that will result in seamless cooperation which will further strengthen the aerospace industry in general. In the latter case, the NAC will bridge the knowledge transfer from academia and technology incubators to local industry and play a leverage role in extending low TRL innovations to higher TRL levels.

Progress beyond state of the art on a global level is reflected through the technologies and services that the NAC envisages to provide, in order to address the current and future demands of the aerospace industry within all the aerospace markets it will be operating in.

The one year action plan of TEMARA phase 1 has already resulted in the generation of socio economic impacts that will eventually help contribute towards progress beyond state of the art on a local and international scale.

The impacts of TEMARA phase 1 were to:
• Define the roadmap for the achievement of the project’s long term impacts described in section 2.1 of the Description of Action.
• Through NLR’s experience in business oriented aviation, generate a robust business plan, thus contributing to long term sustainability beyond the timeframe of the TEMARA project.
• Act as a vehicle for closer collaboration between two member states, the Netherlands and Malta.
• Through dissemination, increase awareness of EC funded initiatives of high impact within the European Union.
Logo of the TEMARA Teaming Project
Logo of the National Aerospace Centre
Memorandum of Understanding Signature between NAC and NLR