This proposal is submitted by three mature regional cluster organisations operating in the UK (Midlands Aerospace Alliance - MAA), Netherlands (Netherlands Aerospace Group - NAG) and Italy (Torino Piemonte Aerospace - TPA) that act as innovation agencies operating in the high-growth aerospace industry. Our common challenge is how best to design and utilise cluster mechanisms, including cluster organisation service delivery, to address a recognised strategic weakness in Europe’s aerospace supply chains. Despite often high levels of technical know-how, smaller companies have a low rate of product and process innovation. Our goal is to accelerate rates of innovation in aerospace supply chain companies so they are better equipped with new products and new processes to compete in global markets and thus retain and grow a high-skill, high-wage aerospace supply chains in Europe’s aerospace clusters.
Our organisations have developed what is considered within our regional clusters to be good and successful – possibly excellent -- practice. A range of services is delivered, in part by mobilising the clusters themselves as a resource. Service delivery systems include small grant competitive collaborative R&D programmes, innovation mentoring, working closely with regional RTOs to involve suppliers and participating in EU-funded “meta-cluster” programmes -- all designed to increase the rate of SME innovation.
Our proposal is to use our inevitably-diverse expertise based on these experiences to comparatively benchmark the recognised good practice and create a Design Options Paper that contextualises this within the broader range of service delivery models. We then have a clear plan to share the resulting knowledge for maximum impact, first within our own clusters, secondly across the big community of European aerospace clusters, and thirdly with the broader innovation/SME and cluster policy communities which work in other economic sectors.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCSA-LS - CSA Lump sum