The Secretary of the Economy and Knowledge, Antonio Ramírez de Arellano, has today encouraged companies to set up clusters and build a model similar to the one developed by the aeronautical industry in Andalusia in any industries that can gain competitiveness and break into new markets by introducing innovation and attracting investment.
The Andalusia Counselor of the Economy visited AERTEC Solutions, a leading aeronautical engineering supplier that already employs 500 workers.
Ramírez de Arellano visited the Malaga-based company AERTEC Solutions and recalled that in Andalusia, “we have been able to modernise and build a successful aeronautical cluster, which has led to the creation of a very robust network of suppliers and has created thousands of jobs” by bringing together the public administrations and the private sector.
According to the Secretary, the region “is in a position to repeat this success” in other industries “where we also have enough experience, such as in agri-foodstuffs, for instance”.
He explained that innovation and internationalisation are essential along this path, highlighting that these two aspects had been fundamental in AERTEC’s development, “whose designation as an Airbus Tier 1 supplier is not by chance, but rather due to R&D and innovation investments that have doubled in 2015 to reach €1.5 million”. Moreover, the company is highly committed to R&D and has just launched its new “AERTEC Solutions Challenge” programme, which is aimed at awarding grants to university students who collaborate with the firm in the development of new aerospace technology solutions.
In addition, he also recalled that the company’s success – which already employs 500 employees – is also due to the fact that it has been involved in an internationalisation process for several years that covers the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other countries.
According to Ramírez de Arellano, “internationalisation involves much more than just exporting due to the need to overcome or get over a crisis in the short term. It means having an overview and acting according to it, as well as backing talent and innovation to break into new markets, consolidate a brand name and compete in terms of quality and not in terms of prices”.
Along these lines, he stated that the Andalusia Regional Authority had backed this idea through the 5th Internationalisation Plan for the Andalusian Economy, which will be in effect until 2020. This plan is expected to reach 20,000 companies, 425,000 jobs involved in exports and non-energy-related exports amounting to €25 billion (20% of Andalusian GDP in 2020).
AERTEC Solutions was set up in a company incubator in Malaga by two aeronautical engineers in 1997. It is currently the third largest aeronautical engineering firm in Spain owned by Spanish capital and the largest in Andalusia.
The company has offices at the Andalusia Technology Park (PTA) in Malaga and at the Aerópolis Technology Park in Seville. It is already a Tier 1 supplier to Airbus in manufacturing engineering services and military and civil aircraft programme management at its factories located in Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
The firm has three business areas – namely airports, the aeronautical industry and defence systems – and has a workforce of over 500 employees in Malaga, Seville, Madrid, Barcelona, Bristol, Toulouse and Bogotá.