16 May 2023
Veneto Aerospace Meetings, Venice 15-17 May 2023
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The first edition of the Veneto Space Meetings began in the evocative headquarters of the Cini Foundation, on the island of San Giorgio in Venice, with a Forum on the present and future of investments in the Space and Aeronautics sectors. Welcoming the institutional, industrial and world of research and financial interlocutors was a representative of the Veneto Aerospace sector who represented the growing numbers of this industry for the Veneto and in the perspective of an Italian and European ecosystem.

Starting from Tuesday 16 May, the meetings moved to Terminal 103 of the port of Venice with the aim of creating a place for meetings and opportunities between the nodes of the aerospace supply chain with a view to innovation, development and marketing.

Guest and coordinator of the event is Dr. Federico Zoppas , President of the Veneto Aerospace Cluster represented by RIR Veneta Air – Aerospace Innovation and Research.

The Veneto district was established in 2020 and only a few months later it was associated with the CTNA. As a newcomer in the sector, Veneto is quickly establishing itself at a national and international level.

The aerospace system of the Districts is present at the Aerospace meetings with the CTNA and 4 of its most representative Associated Districts: Campania, Lombardy, Puglia and Piedmont, as well as obviously the host Veneto.

The CTNA hosted two of the first day’s meetings. At the opening, President Cristina Leone participated in the opening conference on ” Future roadmap for Space “, moderated by Luigi Scatteia, Partner – Global Space Practice Leader of PwC, together with Mauro Piermaria, Director for Programs and Strategies of the Office for Space and Aerospace Policies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Giacinto Carullo, Chief Procurement & Supply Chain Officer, Leonardo.

The President of the National Aerospace Technology Cluster underlined the CTNA’s mission: to grasp and carry out cross-sectoral and interterritorial initiatives which at the same time represent the excellences or major challenges of the Italian ecosystem.

At the end of the morning, the CTNA, together with the Districts of Campania, Lombardy, Piedmont and Puglia, responded to the questions of Anikulmar Dave, a technologist and expert in innovation, technology transfer and space economy who, in a lively debate, encouraged the Presidents to explain in a few words what the CTNA technological road map is and what the main trends observed at a regional level are, so as to highlight convergences and territorial particularities.

On this occasion, President Leone explained how the CTNA space and aeronautics road maps were created and in particular how these are the result of in-depth mapping and analysis on and in collaboration with the Districts, associated research bodies and other interlocutors who have been collaborating on the working groups and technical tables of the CTNA for years.

Subsequently, Professor Fulvia Quagliotti, President of the Piedmont Aerospace District, confirmed how technological innovation, especially in terms of digitalisation and propulsion, is increasingly transversal to various sectors, but that the aerospace sector continues to maintain its specificities, also and above all in consideration of the quality certifications that are required to operate in the sector. Therefore, if the result of the development of research and innovation in the aerospace sector can also be an outlet in other sectors, as in fact happens more and more often in the space economy, the vice versa is not true. These concepts are also confirmed by Prof. Luigi Carrino, President of the Campania Aerospace District . In reiterating how the space economy continues to open up opportunities for technological companies from Campania and Italy, the predominance of the space theme in political attention risks destroying the aeronautical sector which has been suffering from a profound crisis for some years and would instead need targeted initiatives. In this sense, the PNRR was a missed opportunity to support the aeronautical industry, with the double negative effect of letting a strategic sector sink and thus limiting the possibility of employing on Italian territory the excellent minds that are trained so well in Italian universities engineering, physics, mathematics and other science subjects.

Dr. _ Zilli, delegate of the Puglia Aerospace District , commented on how crises can be effectively transformed into opportunities to create innovations or “disruptive” opportunities, as happened with the Puglia economy and the “reconversion” on drones and air mobility.

Finally, confirming how the national cluster represents a place of exchange and comparison in which the Districts, as spokespersons and representatives of local ecosystems, can join forces and ideas to resolve challenges more quickly and effectively, is Dr. Zoppas, President of the Veneto district.

In this regard, the presence of the different districts in a single stand and in the round table is the most effective demonstration of how the CTNA effectively carries out its role as aggregator of aggregators and that this model works because the districts, the actions and the research centers associates continue to believe and invest in CTNA.

The CTNA stand was visited by the Regional Governor Luca Zaia who in the morning participated in the inauguration ceremony together, among others, with the Vice Minister of Business and Made in Italy, Valentino Valentini , the Mayor of Venice, the President of RIR AIR , Federico Zoppas, the President of the ABE, Stephane Castet, the President of Confindustria Veneto Est, Leopoldo Destro, the Rector of the University of Padua and Representative of the UNIVENETO Foundation, Daniela Mapelli.

Over the three days of the Aerospace Meetings, Veneto hosted around 120 companies in the aerospace sector from 15 different countries, 100 Italian and international buyers and 25 European startups. A large space is also dedicated to conferences and round tables, in which around 150 speakers took turns. There was no lack of passionate and numerous presence of students from the University of Padua who, with their Thrust project (a design, production and launch project of an SFR I, a hybrid rocket) hope to participate in the EuroC 2024 competition.

In summary, the Aerospace Meetings in Venice was an opportunity that encouraged meetings and facilitated the circulation of ideas useful for realizing ambitious and increasingly sustainable projects in the near future.