One of the recommendations in NRIA Flyg 2013 was to create and support arenas, in which SMEs, in collaboration with major companies, can build up centralized skills, which means that they are considered by default when these skills are then sought.
There is a need for support and resources for SMEs so that they can establish contact with the aerospace industry, understand the industry’s needs, and participate in the industry’s R&D programmes. There is also a need for resources to develop and verify interesting (identified) technologies for the aerospace industry at the right level of readiness.
This is now being realized through the following two arenas:
Compraser Labs in Linköping for industrial production processes R&D on composite based products www.compraserlabs.se
PTC Innovatum in Trollhättan for industrial production processes R&D on metal-based aerospace products www.innovatum.se/starta-och-utveckla/produktionstekniskt-centrum
The arenas operate with support from a larger network structure made up of a combination of institutes, academia, and large companies. Also Sweden’s regions will contribute crucial support. The goal is that these arenas are developed into global players, where, even on an international level, they are regularly sought out as a natural option.
Part of the arena construction should consist of so-called “Border Crossers”, who may be research leaders from institutes, academia, or large companies that involve SMEs in research or demonstrator programmes via senior researchers, doctoral students in industry and at universities, those working on dissertations or student projects. SMEs therefore have the opportunity to get involved through their own staff and these “Border Crossers” in order to acquire new technologies or verify their own technologies, at the same time as strengthening their recruitment processes. In this respect, institutes play an important role as mentors as SMEs attempt to become more competitive and increase their growth.