To generate and win new business in our COVID-19 world, innovation is more vital than ever. To reduce costs, manage risk and create opportunities, collaboration is key.

Over the last two years some members of the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP), co-supported by the European Union, have worked to create a pipeline of collaborative, inter-regional investment aerospace projects ready for public or private funding. The programme is known as EACP-EuroSME.

The latest tally of collaborative programmes in development now totals over €50M, embracing 90 organisations. It has created new links for SMEs across regions of Europe accessing opportunities, skills and specialist resources that would otherwise have been difficult to reach.

The EACP-EuroSME programme has involved over 300 SMEs, 46 clusters, 6 European regions, 20 technological centres and scientific parks from countries falling within the European Union’s COSME Programme area. It has also made new economic connections across regional local authorities.

In addition, the programme has captured knowledge resources of Inventories of Centres of Innovation and Competence in the 6 participating regions of Italy, Czech Republic, France, Germany and UK. These include technological local innovation hubs, science parks or technology centres, universities and research centres in the aerospace sector active in each geographical area. They include declared technology transfer activities, research expertise and services offered, all aimed at accelerating progress and reducing costs.

New collaborative business opportunities have been promoted through events and themed webinars in priority areas of complementary regional aerospace strengths. The strategic opportunities for new business through the National, European and increasingly Global focus on the Circular Economy in aerospace have also been widely shared. Sources of public and private investment funding have been identified and mapped to projects.

The project is led by DAC (Campania Aerospace District – Italy) and is implemented in cooperation with five European clusters: Hamburg Aviation (Germany), Moravian Aerospace Cluster (Czech Republic), TeRN (Basilicata Technologies for Earth Observation and Natural Risks District, Italy), Aerospace Valley (France) and Northwest Aerospace Alliance (UK).

The EuroSME programme will complete at the end of September.

The following activities have been conducted within the EuroSME partnership to achieve a complete more resilient aerospace supply chain:

  • Correlation among Regional Innovation and Smart Specialization Strategies (RIS3) and agreement on 4 selected highest-ranked priority thematic areas to achieve a comprehensive aerospace value chain in Europe:
  • Aircraft of the Future – Green aviation, Faster aircraft, Hybrid propulsion
  • Industry 4.0 – Manufacturing and maintenance digitalization, Virtual/augmented reality, 3D printing, Better management
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – Urban air mobility, Drone for logistic services, Small and medium UAS
  • Observation Technologies – Nanosatellites, Satellite/aircraft payloads, Strategic infrastructures surveillance, Precision agriculture
  • Defined cyclic Road Map
  • Defined process to facilitate SMEs partnership
  • Built an Innovation Project Scouting Data Base to Identify Potential Partners and funding opportunities
  • Defined process to facilitate SMEs projects set up
  • Injection of Circular Economy principles
  • Created a pipeline of potential SME projects for partnerships.


“We are very happy with how the project has developed, with the good evolution of the existing relationships with the districts that participated, and with the strong harmony with the whole EACP. – comments Luigi Carrino, president of DAC – But most of all, we are happy with the new process and methodology developed, which has generated, albeit in a pilot form, the aforementioned pipeline of technological innovation projects. This is specifically in favor of SMEs that more than others are suffering from the impact of COVID-19 “.

“We hope that the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) can continue the work through its Technology Working Group, where appropriate funding can support it – adds Rino Russo, EuroSME project manager on behalf of the DAC – Any SME with project ideas of innovation that it wants to develop and that is interested in new collaborations, reducing risks and creating opportunities, must only step forward ”

For more information:



The EuroSME Partnership was set-up by aerospace clusters of six leading European regions: Campania (coordinator) in Italy, Hamburg Metropolitan Region in Germany, Moravia in Czechia, Basilicata in Italy, Occitanie & Nouvelle Aquitaine in France and North West England in UK. The Partnership facilitates the development of innovation investment projects through interregional cooperation. The process is bottom-up, open, inclusive and based on a transparent governance.


The EuroSME Partnership is proposed to be the first aerospace partnership under the European Commission Thematic Smart Specialization on Industry Modernisation.