Why an Aerospace Centre in Galicia?
The Xunta de Galicia opted to create an aerospace centre capable of competing internationally with other territories, and did so by stimulating innovation, industrial & technological development, investment, employment, attraction and retention of talent in the region.
A set of determining factors coalesced during the creation of the Galician aerospace centre.
Strategic framework. An industrial and innovation policy that allows both diversification of our economy, in accordance with Galicia’s 2014-2020 RIS3 strategy, and promotion of a high-tech sector.
Global market with huge growth potential. The European Union today accounts for more than 30 % of the world’s drone designers and manufacturers, and the sector’s economic impact is expected to reach € 15 billion/year in 2050. In particular, the civil drones, used by governments and for commercial purposes, will be the ones that generate most of this impact.
Galicia did not start this venture from scratch since it already had an industrial activity linked to the aeronautical sector with great potential for innovation, technological development and growth, as well as the skills and knowledge needed in the field of unmanned vehicle systems.
Galicia has a unique infrastructure in the Rozas airfield in Lugo province that offers excellent testing conditions with UAVs, thanks to its low population density, ideal climatic conditions and segregated airspace.
All this has contributed to the presence of a consolidated aeronautical and aerospace sector whose turnover in 2019 was € 132 million; 2 % higher than in 2018, and which now employs 1250 people in Galicia. Moreover, Galicia’s aeronautical exports increased by more than 70 % compared to the previous year and imports decreased by 82.35 %.
The latest annual report of the Galician Aeronautical Consortium (GAC) states that more than 30 Galician enterprises work directly for large international top tier aeronautical and aerospace manufacturers and suppliers. It also states that Galicia has contracts guaranteed for the upcoming years, with cumulative investments of more than € 112 million in the last four years.
Boosting the Galician Aerospace Centre
The Xunta de Galicia carried out the following actions to boost the Galician Aerospace Centre:
Attract and facilitate R&D and industrial investment by aerospace enterprises.
Build and develop key infrastructures.
Foster collaboration between public and private entities to develop and acquire innovative UAV solutions and apply them to improve public services.
Promote internationalisation of the products and solutions developed by the Galician Aerospace Centre agents.
Stimulate participation of the local business fabric in the international aerospace industry by supporting their presence in the sector’s global value chain.
What was the instrument used to promote it?
The Galician Aerospace Centre was promoted using Public Procurement for Innovation (PPI) as a support instrument, an area in which Galicia leads the field in Spain. This key tool for attracting investment and developing the industry has enabled the Galician government to boost demand-led innovation.
Public Procurement for Innovation facilitates optimisation of public services to place Galicia in national and international technological scenarios, and serves as a tool to facilitate transition towards a productive model based on competitiveness and innovation-led growth.
As part of this commitment to innovation, the Xunta de Galicia awarded three pre-commercial research and development contracts and ten public procurement contracts for innovative technology within the framework of the Galician Aerospace Centre.