Leonardo Helicopters, Region and Dta in support of local enterprises

Over 50 Apulian companies took part in the workshop, held at the Brindisi plant of Leonardo’s Helicopters Division, organised by the Aerospace Technological District (Dta) with the patronage and contribution of Puglia Sviluppo and the Apulia Region. During the meeting, the first of its kind in Italy, the representatives of Leonardo’s Helicopters Division highlighted the production challenges linked to the significant growth in orders and the related needs in terms of developing complementary sources and therefore supply capacity on the part of companies. This is a new way of involving SMEs called upon to take up a common challenge, counting on the support of the large defence and security aerospace group that makes available time and resources to accompany individual SMEs along the notoriously onerous and complex path of qualification and certification. The objective is to consolidate, strengthen, and integrate national skills and competencies distributed throughout the territories and SMEs, to face the growth of the global market and the new challenges and competitions that are being generated in it.

The work and discussion allowed the SMEs to acquire specific information on the production areas, technologies and products for which there is the greatest need to expand the quantitative dimension of the supply chains, and to understand how to engage in the Leonardo evaluation process. One-to-one discussions between companies and Leonardo will continue in the following days and weeks. “We have organised this initiative, the first in Italy, in agreement with the Puglia Region and Puglia Sviluppo to create new opportunities for Apulian companies that will prove capable and interested in interpreting and responding to the supply needs related to Leonardo’s helicopter hub,” said Giuseppe Acierno, President of the Aerospace Technological District.

“Our hope and conviction is that the growth of Leonardo, this initiative to which we have dedicated ourselves with conviction, and the recent news announced by the company for the Grottaglie site related to the Italian assembly of the AW609 tiltrotor, are a new opportunity for the Apulian aerospace system, for the country and for Leonardo’s global challenges. We are convinced that this is the method to be followed and perpetuated in order to consolidate, strengthen and integrate national skills and competences distributed in the territories and SMEs, to face the growth of the global market and the new challenges and competitions that are being generated in it’.

The workshop constitutes the first step of a path in which the role of the Apulia Region is relevant, which, through the Department of Economic Development, intends to financially support entrepreneurial initiatives in the Aerospace and Defence sector with the aim of increasing the perimeter of the players already present with investments to increase their product/technology portfolio and support the entry of new high-tech players into the sector. The main areas of intervention, technologies and products are aimed at increasing the technological capabilities of SMEs. Over the years, the Apulia Region has supported the growth of the system of enterprises increasingly involved in global supply chains and several initiatives have favoured the consolidation of the aerospace vocation. Once again, the Region intends to support the growth path of SMEs, seizing this opportunity and making available actions and financing instruments.

“Underlying this important initiative,” said the Councillor for Economic Development, Alessandro Delli Noci, “is the desire to strengthen the aerospace supply chain, a sector in which the Apulia Region has invested so much in recent years. Through Leonardo’s growth and investment in our territory, the rather solid and consolidated business system can face a new challenge. Our goal is to qualify the supply chain and offer new opportunities for growth and development. The event kicked off the meeting and discussion campaign between representatives of Leonardo’s Helicopters Division and Apulian SMEs, which from the day after the workshop gives companies the opportunity to start or continue interaction with the aerospace industry giant in order to consolidate and develop the supply chain and jointly win the challenges of the helicopter market in the coming years.