01 April 2022
The Lombardy Aerospace Cluster meets the USA
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A collaboration with the Houston ICE office is underway. Objective: to bring together Lombard and American companies through matchmaking actions between supply and demand of technologies

The Lombardy Aerospace Cluster meets the USA

Angelo Vallerani, President of the Cluster: “The numbers of the commercial exchange with the United States give the perception of the possibilities that the Lombard aerospace market has to respond to American needs”

A permanent collaboration has started between the Lombardy Aerospace Cluster and the ICE Office in Houston , dedicated to the exploration of opportunities on the American market . “This contact was born precisely at the request of ICE Houston, which in turn continually receives requests from American operators looking for Italian companies in the aerospace sector – explains Angelo Vallerani , President of the Cluster -. Our goal is to bring together the demand for collaboration and the well-structured skills that the Lombardy region can express.” But why Lombardy? What speaks are the numbers of the commercial exchange between the two realities which, as reiterated by Vallerani, “give the perception of the possibilities that the Lombard aerospace market has to respond to American needs”.

Why Lombardy?

Exports from the Lombardy aerospace sector, which alone represent 21.2% of Italian exports in the sector, amounted to 1.2 billion euros in 2021, an increase of +15.5% compared to 2020. The import (27.6% of the Italian one) was equal to 885.2 million euros, up by +83.7% compared to last year. In particular, exports of Lombardy aerospace products to the USA stood at 92 million euros and imports at 287 million in 2021.

Together with the data from the commercial exchange, what makes Lombardy an attractive aerospace partner for the American market are the skills and technologies in the three flight platforms (helicopter, aeronautical and space sectors) that the region expresses. “In fact, within a radius of a few kilometers there are highly specialized large, small and medium-sized companies which, from avionics to materials, from equipment to components and up to services, are able to produce, from start to finish, helicopters , planes and satellites”, comments Angelo Vallerani.

The ICE USA desk – Houston

The collaboration between the Lombardy Aerospace Cluster and ICE Houston, therefore, will materialize in some activities aimed directly at businesses. “The Lombardy Aerospace Cluster – continues President Vallerani – makes a page available to ICE on its institutional website, which highlights the beginning of our partnership, with the possibility of conveying newsletters and information from ICE Houston”. The idea is that the Cluster acts as a collector, through the site and its collaborators, of the needs expressed by American operators, to ensure that local companies find concrete outlets on international markets.

For its part, the ICE Office in Houston offers a desk for Italian companies (with free services for companies under 100 employees) with the possibility of creating personalized paths aimed at specific needs. “There is a shared desire to continue on this path of mutual understanding and the aerospace desk has the precise aim of strengthening relationships and expanding American activities towards Italian companies,” says Patrick Fitzgerald, Aerospace Specialist Houston Office ICE . “How to expand and where: these are the most frequent questions we try to answer with our help desk. We want to open the doors wide to SMEs who wish to explore the American market and we do this by telling new stories of successful Italian companies every week, launching initiatives, tenders and sector fairs to include as many players as possible in Italy”, adds Fitzgerald.

The Aerospace Matchmaking Interceptor (AMI) Platform

Another possibility of connecting the needs expressed by US companies and Lombard capabilities is represented by the Aerospace Matchmaking Interceptor (AMI) Platform , developed last year by the Lombardy Aerospace Cluster within a project made available to the National Aerospace Technological Cluster . “For now we have started by profiling our members from different aspects – explains Paola Margnini, Cluster Manager of the Lombardia Aerospace Cluster –. AMI has the peculiarity of analyzing companies under three different components: products, technologies and services. The result of the research carried out on the platform can, therefore, go to a very deep level of specificity, thus managing to intercept very detailed needs”.

Through tree connections, based on technologies and productions, it is in short possible to identify, among the profiled companies, the right partner for your research . “We try to give visibility to the entire production system in the region. With the aim of opening up, within a collaboration with the National Cluster, later on, also the profiling of companies and entities such as Research Centers and Universities spread throughout the national territory”, specifies Margnini. “These searches can, obviously, also be easily intercepted by American operators, given that the AMI Platform can be navigated in both Italian and English. Which represents an interesting opportunity for visibility also and above all for small and medium-sized businesses. Let’s just think of companies with vertical and niche skills, difficult to intercept outside regional and national borders: thanks to AMI these skills will be able to travel across the ocean, to the USA, just thanks to a click”, concludes Massimo Maronati , Business Networking Coordinator of the Lombardy Aerospace Cluster .

Varese, 1 April 2022