Paris Air Show : What is Occitania's role ?

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Back in 2015, the Paris Air Show brought 2 303 exhibitors
Back in 2015, the Paris Air Show brought 2 303 exhibitors (Crédits : Guillaume Lecompte-Boinet)
European leader in aeronautics, space and embedded systems, the Occitania region must be particularly visible at the Paris Air Show. Every two years, this event brings together the biggest names in the aeronautics and space industry. Overview of the regional mobilisation for the 2017 edition.

Madeeli has become a specialist in accompanying local businesses to international shows. The economic development agency of the Occitania region has already supported 253 companies in 16 shows (Mobile World Congress, Hamburg Aircraft Interiors...) since 2015. But, if there is one not to be missed, it is the Paris Air Show. The international aeronautics and space show must be reserved almost a year in advance. For this 2017 edition, all booths were booked eight months before the show opened this Monday, 19 June 2017. The Occitania & Nouvelle Aquitaine joint pavilion of 1,456 m2 including 80 m2 of common space for promotion and reception, greets attendees on their arrival. It brings together 140 companies, including 73 from Occitania and 67 from Aquitaine.

According to the President of the Occitania Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alain Di Crescenzo, "It is the most important delegation of the show". The information is nevertheless difficult to verify because the organisers of the Paris Air Show cannot confirm it definitely.

Several other companies have their own booth like Airbus, of course, but also Liebherr Aerospace, Prismadd and Figeac Aero, to name only the biggest.

The Paris Air Show challenge

A few figures show the impact of the Paris Air Show on an attending company: at the last edition in 2015, the show brought together 2,303 exhibitors from 48 countries, nearly 150,000 professional visitors from 165 countries and 4,359 journalists from 72 countries (almost as much as for the Cannes Film Festival where 4,500 journalists are accredited!). As for the general public, there were more than 200,000 visitors.

The Occitania region boasts 86,000 jobs in the aeronautics and space sector, a network of more than 800 companies - subcontractors and suppliers - representing over €10 billion in annual turnover. "We are a key player in the sector", commented Carole Delga, President of the Region, who is attending the Paris Air Show this year for the first time.

"Our territory also has unique training and research potential in Europe. We are present in force at the Paris Air Show: this is an unrivalled showcase for our companies to meet potential customers and conquer new markets. This strong presence at the Paris Air Show also allows us to promote the attractiveness of our territory for the future reception of companies and research or training institutions".

Approach applied

To accompany local companies at the Paris Air Show, the Aerospace Valley division and the Occitania Chamber of Commerce and Industry have teamed up with Madeeli and the Regional Council.

"This is the place to be, the place where contracts are signed", stated Alain Di Crescenzo, President of the Occitania Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Occitania region, as project owner, finances SMEs participating in the Paris Air Show (up to 50% of the participation fee per company: booth, installation, registration, technical services and communication costs). In 2015, this represented a sum of €110,000. As prime contractor, the Occitania Chamber of Commerce and Industry manages the relations with the show and is the privileged contact of the companies for administrative and technical aspects. Madeeli is in charge of the decoration of the pavilion, signage, communication, press relations and the programme. The Occitania Regional Tourism Committee, the Aeroscopia Museum, the Cité de l'Espace, the Ferme des Étoiles and the Pic du Midi are invited to host the general public days on Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June.

Aerospace Valley is responsible for conducting several debates and round tables: "Big data and air transport" on 21 June at 9 am and "Cyber attacks on SMEs in the aeronautics sector: risks and stakes" on 22 June at 9 am.

"80% of the companies brought to the Paris Air Show are members of Aerospace Valley. We play the card of collaboration, of the South-West subsidiary", commented Agnès Paillard, President of Aerospace Valley.

Well-represented start-ups

The 2017 show hosts, for the first time, the Paris Air Lab: 3,000 m2 dedicated to research, innovation and prospection. InnovATM, Nanolike, Doneclé, Airbone Concept, Syntony, Terranis, 3D Trust, Flight Watching, Seclab, Geoglex, Opt'alm and Skylights will be represented.

A new aeronautical plan presented

At the Paris Air Show, Carole Delga will present the main lines of the new regional plan for aeronautics, the Ader 4 plan, which will be launched by the end of 2017. Within the framework of the Ader regional funds, €170 million have already been invested since 2011. The aim of the new plan is to support companies in the sector by taking into account new challenges they face, such as the introduction of new technologies including additive manufacturing, more electric and cleaner aircraft and the economic performance challenges related to the increased competition of low-cost countries.

"Occitania is the cradle of aeronautics. It is also the region of innovation where the aircraft of tomorrow are designed and built. We will unveil all our ambition and our potential in this area at the upcoming Paris Air Show", Carole Delga claimed before the event.

The Region devotes an average of €30 million per year to the sector and its businesses. The Ader4 plan is part of the new Regional Economic Development and Innovation Plan (SRDEII).

Under this plan, four ambitions are set for the period 2017-2020. First, facilitating the structuring of the sector, desired by many players, is needed to allow the emergence of more solid companies. Increasing production capacity, preparing the aircraft of the future - on which a collaborative project tender has been launched within the framework of the "Readynov" tender - and training support are the other three priorities of the plan. In preparation with the State, which will participate in the financing, this plan should be adopted in Plenary Assembly by the end of the year.

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