Aerospace Valley

Arnaud Rimokh Executive Manager Unmanned Systems, Urban Air Mobility and Drone Trafic Management

Aerospace Valley is the first world competitiveness cluster for the aerospace sector, serving three strategic industries - Aeronautics, Space and Drones – and covering the Occitanie-Pyrénées-Méditerranée and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions.
With its Ecosystems of Excellence – Embedded and Communicating Systems; Structures, Materials and Processes; Propulsion and Embedded Energy; Economy of Data and Artificial Intelligence; Solutions for the Industry of the future – Aerospace Valley drives a supportive, competitive and attractive community aimed at fostering innovation in order to serve growth.
Ranking in the top 3 world competitiveness clusters for the performance of its cooperative R&T projects (among which 619 have already been funded), Aerospace Valley is in charge of animating a dynamic network of international reputation, composed of 825 members (industries, research labs, training centres, universities and high schools, local authorities, structures for economic development) including 562 SMEs.

Since September 2017, the Aerospace Valley association is chaired by Yann BARBAUX, Senior Vice-President of Airbus and former Airbus Head of Innovation.

More than 130 members among the 850 within our organization are currently addressing the drone markets (commercial and defence) organized in vertical market segments (Agriculture, Transportation, Energy, Defence, Logistics, Environment...)
Our members range from unmanned systems manufacturers (Airbus, Boreal, Delair-Tech, Thales), major Research laboratories (ENAC, ISAE, ONERA, LAAS) or UAS operators, all contributing with their solutions, services and expertise to change the way firefighters fight wildland fires or floods or the way medical personnel can transport blood samples and organs.
All of these initiatives are integrated part of roadmaps from Nouvelle Aquitaine and Occitanie regions from which many collaborative R&D projects have been engaged at regional, national or European levels addressing various domains: from precision agriculture, coastal erosion monitoring, infrastructure surveying to mountain search and rescue operations.
Aerospace Valley can also give quality labels to R&D projects led by its members in its field of competence. Then, this quality label allows project leaders to access national financing. Here below a non-exhaustive list of drone related projects that Aerospace Valley has given a quality label:

  • FIRST: drone solution with rotary wing for civil protection issues such as avalanche triggering, snowfalls or waste of the fog.
  • VOLTIGE: Instrumentation of ultra-light drone
  • SURICATE: Definition of a drone solution allowing the automated surveillance of transport, energy and communication networks, as well as missions of surveillance of the environment.
  • AgriDrones-Services: Drones for the observation of large-scale crops.
  • DyGMIS: Dynamic Group management In UAV Swarms

In 2019, unmanned aerial systems domain became within Aerospace Valley a key sector like space and aerospace now defined as Strategic Sectors. As such, those sectors are bringing the needs from their respective markets and are contributing to the economic growth of our local territories. Strategic Sectors can rely on key enabling technologies from the members organized around technical communities called Ecosystems of Excellence all geared to an innovation-driven vision.
Regarding RPAS, goals of Aerospace Valley are to:

  • Understand global market drivers, issues and needs
  • Help its members to provide market and regulations information for their export activities
  • Support innovation with collaborative projects among its members

Contribute to the development of RPAS through a pan-European unmanned ecosystem
In coordination with the French stakeholders such as Aerospace and Defense clusters (SAFE and ASTech), professional federation (FPDC - Federation Professionnelle des Drones Civils) or governmental bodies (Conseil des Drones Civils), but also at European ones (European commission, European Aviation Safety Agency, European Drone Cooperation, ASD - AeroSpace and Defense Industries Association of Europe), Aerospace Valley implements projects and activities not only to support development of RPAS but also their integration into airspace and social acceptance as well.
Regarding airspace integration, under the patronage of our regional stakeholders such as Nouvelle Aquitaine and Occitanie Regions, Aerospace Valley is one of the signatory of the Letter of Intent for the Urban Air Mobility on September 20th, aiming to improve the urban and inter-urban mobility from the aerial dimension. Driven by European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) and supported by the European Commission, this UAM initiative brings together regions, cities, companies, research actors and all stakeholders until the citizens themselves to build, from 2019, experimental areas, ie places where the conditions (infrastructure, regulation)
Following this signature, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine, is strengthening its intent to become one of the first European regions to deploy UAM initiative, experimenting Air Mobility within their territories.

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