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France in focus: the high-flying aerospace industry in ALPC

Amelie Argenti - 29-janv.-2016 18:33:57
Few regions in the world can truly boast of such a dynamic aerospace sector as Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes (ALPC). The region has a long history in the aerospace industry which has resulted in it positioning itself as a global leader and reference point in several subsectors of the field. Key figures of this sector in ALPC include: - 700 active companies - 40 000 jobs in the sector - 4 billion EUR in revenue Areas in which the region is a world leader include: turbines for helicopters, top of the range corporate jets, landing and braking systems, launch vehicles and propulsion and deterrent weapon systems to name a few. As a result of this know-how two important clusters have been created in the region. The first, Aerospace Valley  was created in 2005 through the close collaboration between the Aquitaine and the Midi-Pyrenees regions, and represents roughly one third of Frances aerospace workforce. The cluster has received funding for 450 R&D projects, representing 1.1 billion Euros. The second cluster AEROTEAM  situated in the Poitou-Charentes area was created in 2008 and has diligently promoted the partnerships, R&D and collaborations in the area. With over 150 companies in Poitou-Charentes, including large groups such as Thales, Zodiac Aerospace and Dassault Aviation, the merger with the Aquitaine region has created one of the largest gatherings of companies in the aeronautics industry. With such a large and specialized aerospace sector, it was a little tough to select just 3 companies to profile in this article. Nevertheless a selection was made, so we begin with the giant: Airbus. Airbus Defense and Space , part of the Airbus employs over 14 000 people and has a revenue of 14 billion EUR globally. The group has wide ranging expertise developing technology and programs for everything from defense and security to telecommunications and manned space missions. The site in Aquitaine was built in the 1960s and is made up of 70 000 m² of offices and workshops. It specializes in subassemblies, high-performance filament-wound and woven structures, thermal protection, atmospheric re-entry systems and complex testing. Dassault Aviation  has 4 sites in the ALPC region and over 2900 employees, almost a quarter of the groups global workforce of 11 700. The group produces falcon jets and military aircrafts and created the famous Mirage jets series. There is currently a partnership with northern Europe for the Dassault group in the form of the established collaboration with Swedish Saab AB as well as EADS in the creation of the nEUROn, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle. Zodiac aerospace founded in 1896, has been active in the sector for over 100 years with its earliest designs focusing on hot-air balloons and airplanes. Today the group’s activities are focused in three core segments: comfort and life on board aircraft, onboard systems, and safety on the ground and in-flight. With over 100 sites and a global workforce of over 30,000 people, the group retains an important presence in France and has five sites in the ALPC region alone. For further information on the aerospace industry in the Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes area, or to come into contact with the region to explore collaboration opportunities please contacte Amelie Argenti, amelie.argenti@businessfrance.fr Picture courtesy of Invest in Aquitaine
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