On Wednesday 1st February, business representatives from the Aerospace Systems Cluster of the Technology Park of Andalucía took part in a two-day visit to the Bristol and Bath region to understand the successful technology cluster we have here and to explore business collaboration opportunities. McKinsey and Co. named Bristol & Bath the fastest-growing, most globally-significant tech cluster in the UK in their 2014 report.
Those visiting included representatives from the Technology Park of Andalucía (PTA), the University of Malaga, the City Hall of Malaga, the Regional Government of Andalusia and businesses MADES, CITIC and Aertec Solutions. They aimed to see first-hand the regional development model for aerospace, which has become a reference point in the aerospace sector globally; the South West region hosts all 15 leading aerospace giants, including Airbus, Rolls Royce and BAE Systems.
They also explored areas the Bristol & Bath region excels in, such as big data, smart cities and robotics. Bristol was recently named the leading smart city outside of London in a report published by Chinese tech giant Huawei last year and Invest Bristol & Bath are hosting Venturefest 2017 which will demonstrate how the region is leading the debate around smart cities.
Rick Chapman, High Tech Sector Specialist from Invest Bristol & Bath visited the PTA last year and commented:
“The tech cluster in the Bristol & Bath region is a strong asset and drives economic growth, with the region being recognized as the 7th strongest in Europe by the Financial Times (FDI Intelligence 2014/15). The innovation we saw on our visit to the PTA reflects what we’re doing here in the region and presents tangible opportunities for collaboration.”
Jose Luis Ruiz Espejo, President of the PTA, underlined that this visit represented an opportunity to bring together innovation ecosystems like those in the Bristol and Bath region and in the Technology Park of Andalucía with the objective of identifying opportunities between the regions with a defined technological strategy and furthermore that businesses within the Malaga aerospace sector can maximize their international presence, especially in the UK, to generate new business opportunities.
In the same vein, Antonio Gomez Guillamon, President of Aertec Solutions and representing the Aeronautical Systems Cluster of the PTA, added:
“The region around Bristol is the hub of the British aerospace sector, with large companies, research centres and a well-established cluster. The bridges that we can build with them together with the good air links between Malaga and Bristol should facilitate collaboration between companies, joint projects and access to clients from both sides”.
During its visit, the delegation visited and experienced distinct scientific and technological facilities located in the region, among them the Bristol and Bath Science Park, the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the Quantum Technology Centre of the University of Bristol and the National Composites Centre as well as various business incubators.