Guest column by José Neves / AED Cluster Portugal

AED Cluster Portugal (AEDCP) is the Portuguese Cluster of the Aeronautics, Space and Defence Industries. Created in 2016, the AEDCP is a private non-for-profit organization, inheriting the track record of three previous industrial associations for Aeronautics (PEMAS), Space (PROESPAÇO) and Defence (DANOTEC).

Novel cooperative initiatives are indeed paving the way for the future of the Portuguese Cluster, and all its members, strengthening its competences and capabilities at a global level.

AED Cluster Portugal mission is to provide a one-stop-shop and entry point in Portugal for national and international stakeholders of the three sectors, providing an effective hub and cluster networking environment for cooperation, growth and competitiveness of the Portuguese industrial, scientific and technological communities.

AED Cluster Portugal objectives include disseminating relevant information, increasing the visibility of its members at national and international level, organizing courses, congresses and workshops, supporting grants and prizes or developing projects for internationalization and capacity building of its members.

Involving already more than 60 entities established in Portugal, the Cluster gathers the main stakeholders from the three sectors, taking advantage of the added value raised by the increase in critical mass and trans-sectorial synergies.


Activities, areas and core business

The Aeronautics, Space and Defence sectors share significant synergies in multiple industrial, research and engineering domains. Historically, these industrial domains have proven to derive major spill-over effects to other sectors, such as materials, automotive, cartography, energy, ocean exploration, robotics, electronics, communications, health, environment monitoring, security and safety.

The criticality and cutting-edge requirements of these sectors, together with a growing cross fertilization and dual use, are key factors underpinning the mission of AED Cluster Portugal, as a joint platform of the Portuguese Aeronautic, Space and Defence sectors.

  • Engaging international projects
  • Presentation of joint capabilities
  • Added value driven by innovation
  • Active search for strategic partnerships

The Cluster is already promoting several building-up initiatives involving its members at a global level. One example is the CleanSky2 Core Partner initiative PASSARO, which targets innovative technologies to enhance aircraft safety, efficiency and sustainability.

Novel cooperative initiatives are indeed paving the way for the future of the Portuguese Cluster, and all its members, strengthening its competences and capabilities at a global level, in a very competitive environment. With the new challenges that each industry will face in the next decade – as, for example, the National involvement in European Defence Fund, or by contributing to the reduction of the environmental impact of civil aviation–  we strongly believe that the ASD Portuguese Cluster can contribute to the competitiveness of National industry and Research Centres in new international programs.

Indeed, the AED Cluster Portugal considers international cooperation a key priority for increasing its capacity and visibility. AED Cluster Portugal is therefore a member, and committed partner, of the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP), ASD Europe and EUROSPACE.

Our focus on international cooperation has driven AED to develop strategic partnership alliances, celebrate bilateral protocols and participate in international collaboration projects funded by European Programmes.



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