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Italy-South Africa Matchmaking Event on Aerospace



Italy-South Africa Matchmaking Event on Aerospace

Deepen mutual knowledge. With this goal in mind, the matchmaking event on aerospace was held in Pretoria on the 4th and the 5th of December. Organized by the Italian Embassy in Pretoria in collaboration with the South African National Aerospace Center (NAC), the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), the Commercial Aviation Manufacturing Association of South Africa (CAMASA) and the ICE Agency of Johannesburg, the two-days event gave an opportunity to the representatives of clusters and development agencies of five Italian Regions (Lazio Innova and DTA for Lazio, DASS Sardinia, ANSER for Emilia-Romagna, DTA Puglia and the Foreign Center for the Internationalization of Piedmont), research centers such as the Italian Space Agency and the National Institute of Astrophysics, universities and companies to show potential South African partners the excellence of Italian aerospace industry and research. Over eighty representatives of development agencies, research centers, trade associations and South African companies have thus been able to appreciate the level and size of the Italian industry and research in aerospace: with 200,000 jobs along the entire value chain , a turnover of over 15 billion euros and over 1.5 billion invested in research and development, the Italian aerospace sector is the seventh worldwide. The South African representatives, at the same time, have been able to make their Italian counterparts understand the potential of a relevant industry in South Africa that could certainly benefit from collaborations with a partner like Italy. "We have put together our strengths and our competences - stated at the opening of the event the Italian Ambassador Pietro Giovanni Donnici - to create opportunities in the interest of our two countries and their respective stakeholders: industrial associations, SMEs, universities, research institutes, public authorities and policy makers".

The first day was dedicated to a conference divided into four sessions. The first session dealt with the topic of space technologies and projects, from satellite to space exploration to Earth observation. The second session was dedicated to aerospace industry clustering, a topic of great interest and in which Italy can boast a long experience. Mega aerospace projects were the theme of the third session, while the fourth was dedicated to advanced manufacturing and materials and the participants were able to discuss the new frontiers of applied research, from Industry 4.0 to non-destructive testing technologies. During the second day, more than 80 head-to-head meetings were held between companies, agencies, universities and research centers, followed by two visits to South African industrial plants.