Andalusian youth spearhead aerospace industry

The EU-funded Aerospace Technology Transfer Incubator of Seville project helped transfer technological knowhow to young entrepreneurs and SMEs. The project supported the ambitions of innovative entrepreneurs and helped accelerate the emergence, collaboration and consolidation of start-ups and micro-SMEs within Andalucía’s aerospace sector.

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Entrepreneurs, engineers and experts work on collaborative robotics, new applications of materials, assembly of small aircraft and launchers for small satellites. © INCYDE Foundation Entrepreneurs, engineers and experts work on collaborative robotics, new applications of materials, assembly of small aircraft and launchers for small satellites. © INCYDE Foundation

" The main goal of the incubator is to transfer the technological skills, ambitions and expertise coming out of the University of Seville and the Andalusian Technological Centre into promising companies and contributions to the aerospace sector. "

Antonio del Cura Temiño, Director of the Incubator of Transfer of Aerospace Technology of the Chamber of Commerce of Seville

The collaborative project involving the Andalusian aerospace sector, the Chamber of Commerce of Seville and the INCYDE Foundation  was dedicated to taking the technological skills, ambitions and expertise of the students graduating from the University of Seville and combining these with the opportunities made available at the Andalusian Technological Centre (CATEC). The project helped foster a range of innovative new companies set to power the region’s aerospace sector into the future.

Thanks to the combined efforts of aerospace or active in the development of new aerospace companies, more than 15 projects and nine companies were added to the incubator.

An aerospace tradition 

Andalucía, Spain’s most southern province, takes pride in its position as one of Europe’s most important aerospace hubs. Between 2005 and 2015, the region’s aerospace sector increased its annual turnover from close to EUR 800 million to EUR 2.3 billion. This growth also translated into jobs, with the sector adding over 8 000 new jobs during the same 10-year period.

Considering these numbers, it comes as no surprise that the University of Seville has many students who graduate in technical studies and wish to pursue careers in the region’s lucrative aerospace sector. However, despite the increasing employment opportunities that the industry offers, Andalucía continues to struggle with high unemployment rates among young people. The project helped bridge this gap between the region’s young talent and the employment opportunities within the area’s aerospace industry. 

Providing the necessary tools and support

Exclusively dedicated to the aeronautical and space sectors, the incubator provides 1 400 square metres of space from which new aerospace businesses can launch. But the incubator is more than just office space. It also serves as a shared industrial space, where entrepreneurs have access to machinery and laboratories for the production, assembly and pre-industrialisation of specific products and prototypes. 

Today, the incubator developed during the project now supports several new businesses that focus on such segments as collaborative robotics, new applications of materials, aircraft assembly, and launchers for small satellites – to name only a few. As the majority of these projects are set-up and run by young people, who also hire additional young talent, the incubator is directly creating new jobs. 

The project is backed by an advisory council of aerospace patrons that includes such marquee names as Airbus Defence and Space, Aéropolis (the aerospace technology park of Andalucía), Hélice (a cluster of aerospace companies located throughout the region), Seville University, and the Andalusian Technological Centre.

As a result, participants are able to work alongside and learn from senior level experts from these companies and organisations. This unique networking setup also creates ample opportunities for these established companies to hire young talent directly from the Incubator or to acquire the projects being developed by its entrepreneurs.  

Promoting international cooperation

Since the Incubator’s launch, an international cooperation project between Spain and Portugal was added. The goal of this spin-off project is to enable technology transfers between the two countries and take advantage of the common activities and synergies between such established aerospace players as Airbus in Spain and Embraer in Portugal.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “Aerospace Technology Transfer Incubator of Seville” is EUR 1 629 761, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 1 303 808 through the “Andalusia” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


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