28 May 2022
Tenth anniversary: ​​CTNA reaches Puglia in the third stage of the Journey between the Aerospace Districts and meets young innovators
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On May 27, the CTNA journey reached Bari where at the Pavilion of the Puglia Region of the Fiera del Levante, the Puglia Aerospace Technological District celebrated 10 years of the establishment of the CTNA and launched the Copernicus 2022 Hackathon .

Once again, young people and innovation are at the center of the debate on the future of aerospace in the territories and at a national and European level.

As underlined in the various interventions, in Puglia space, innovation and young people are not only the future, but are already also a present full of opportunities and important recognition at a national and international level.

The work was started by Giuseppe Acierno, President of the DTA since 2009 and first President of the then newly established CTNA, from 2012 to 2013. Puglia was in fact one of the 5 founding districts of the national cluster, one of the regions with the longest and most consolidated tradition in the Aerospace sector. The “numbers” and the impact of the aerospace economy in Puglia are taken up in the speeches of President Acierno, of the Councilor for Economic Development of the Puglia Region, Alessandro Delli Noci, and of the Director of the Economic Development Department of the Puglia Region, Gianna Elisa Berlingerio . The numbers tell of a territory in which the entire aerospace industry chain is present and active, with significant impacts not only on the regional economy, but also on the entire national economy. It is, in fact, an increasingly open and internationally competitive regional economy, capable of exporting and attracting excellence in research, experimentation and entrepreneurship. A European point of reference, not only for the Grottaglie Port Space project, but also for the proactive role in European projects (primarily Copernicus and Cassini matchmaking) and in ESA and ASI initiatives.

Tanya Scalia , Head of the Technology Transfer Strategies office, Innovation and Space Economy Office of ASI , spoke about the various opportunities in favor of companies and researchers channeled in Italy .

Puglia is a region in which innovative start-ups and the world of research are particularly active, also thanks to the inter-university collaboration between Apulian universities and other research centers in the area. Since 2008, the DTA has played its role as a connector of the gears that make up the Apulian aerospace ecosystem, intercepting and promoting the opportunities that over the years have allowed it to maintain a consistently high position.

One of the keys to the success of the Apulian model is the search for collaboration at an institutional and technological level, a collaboration that the DTA also demonstrates in the various CTNA initiatives.

The word then passes to the President of the CTNA, Cristina Leone who, in describing the birth, development and ongoing projects of the National Cluster, underlines its role in sharing technological development trajectories and contributing human capital . As President Leone underlines, “there is no innovation without innovators”. To be an innovator you need to have passion, be creative and develop skills and knowledge also, albeit not exclusively, in scientific subjects. The CTNA believes that it is never too early to discover and cultivate these skills and, with activities such as Space Dreams and Space Olympics , contributes to the dissemination and awareness of the times of aerospace, team building and female leadership with materials suitable for students of all levels and schools, from elementary to high school. The CTNA President’s invitation is for young people to pursue their own ideas, including innovative and start-up ones, but also to complete their studies because completing the course, at an academic or higher level, allows them to learn knowledge and methods which can be useful throughout your professional and personal career.

President Leone also introduces a second topic, that of the accessibility of aerospace technologies. The theme is taken up and explored in depth in the testimony of Stephane Ourevitch , Senior Executive Advisor of the Copernicus Support Office , the European Union’s Earth observation initiative. Ourevitch underlines how, thanks to the development of digital and connection technologies and tools, a large mass of data and information “from” and “about” space are available not only to researchers, developers and experts but also to an increasingly vast number of people with skills in different fields, who can use that data for relevant processing on almost every aspect of our life on earth, from the prevention of environmental disasters to emergency or planned public interventions. To this end, the role of entities responsible for collecting and making usable the big data coming from GIS and earth observation services, such as Planetek Italia, is very important. It is an important Apulian player that, since 1994, has been providing solutions capable of making the best use of the value of geospatial data through all phases of the data life cycle: acquisition, archiving, management, analysis and sharing.

The event continued with a round table on the Innovation Ecosystem, moderated by Fiorella Coliolo, DTA expert . Young researchers and startuppers who participated in the initiatives promoted by the DTA and the Puglia Region, also in the context of European projects, contributed with vivid testimonies. The meeting then concluded with the launch of the Hackathon Copernicus 2022 , by Gloria Elicio, of Spint Lab. This is a competition promoted by Spint Lab and Planetek which for 3 days will engage young students and researchers from various disciplines to develop innovative business ideas to solve the challenge of Climate Change, using the images and data made available by the satellites of the Copernicus network.

The CTNA wishes good luck to the girls and boys who will participate in the challenge and sets off again on its journey through the Districts. The next appointment is June 14th in Foligno, to talk about the Umbrian system.