Findings and Discussion

Provision of ICs in HAv

Basic Infrastructure

The HAv’s strength can be attributed chiefly to the geographic concentration of firms, universities, labs and research institutions, to their close networking with major players, i.e. Airbus, Lufthansa Teclmik and the Hamburg airport; and their competencies in specific areas along the entire value chain. Special attention is drawn to sustainable activities, aimed at attracting the next generation of educated staff and developing highly competent aviation personnel. It is provided by HCAT+, which offers a unique infrastructure for connecting teaching, practice and research activities, which are pre-dominantly managed by ZAL—responsible for application- oriented research. The strategy adopted in 2014, foresees ‘A New Kind of Aviation'. It aims at making flying in the future more economical, more ecological, more comfortable, more flexible, more reliable and more connected. To fiilfil these ambitious goals, HAv members work closely together on the construction of aircraft and cabins, and their respective systems, on optimisation of aviation services; on improving the efficiency of the air transportation system, as well as on further development of aviation-related IT and communication systems. HAv has also benefited from external funding and participated in numerous research and development projects.

Critical for the HAv’s pool of local commons are these institutions:

• Hanse Aerospace e.V. can be regarded as SME’s voice in the region (www. Founded in 1996, it represents the interests of companies and suppliers of the aerospace industry and is perceived as a counter-balance to mighty regional player. Airbus. It provides members with specialised advice and co-ordinates communication and relations with local government bodies, to address specific infrastructural issues.

  • • НЕС AS—Hanseatic Engineering & Consulting Association e.V. is an association comprising engineering and business consultant sendee providers located in the region, who are active in the aerospace sector ( HECAS considers itself, as the interface between the aerospace industry and local government, working towards keeping jobs in the region. The competencies of its members encompass the following: aerodynamics, consulting, construction and development, computing and testing, software engineering and technical documentation. HECAS is also a member of HAv, HCAT and ZAL, which indicates the deep inter-weaving of local economic, political and scientific actors in the region.
  • • BDLI (Bundesverband der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahitindustrie), the German Aerospace Industries Association, with more than 230 companies, is the primary industry representative for the aerospace sector in the whole of Germany. As the voice of German aerospace, BDLI participates actively in dialogue with political institutions, regional authorities, trade associations and the chamber of commerce, as well as governments at home and abroad (
  • • DLR (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt), the German Aerospace Centre, acts as the national aeronautics and space research centre. Serving as Germany’s space agency, DLR has been given responsibility for the planning and implementation of the German space programme (www. dir. de/dlr/en/).
  • • HCAT, the Hamburg Centre for Aviation Training, works to safeguard the highly qualified workforce and human capital for the aerospace industry in the region (; Buxbaum-Conradi, 2018). It sees itself as a co-ordinator and moderator, in terms of training and qualifying personnel, developing new approaches to cultivating talents and providing vocational and academic education.
  • • ZAL (Zentrum for Angewandte Luftfahrtforschung GmbH) Hamburg’s Centre of Applied Aeronautical Research, founded in 2016, is the technological R&D network of the civil aviation industry in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region ( It is an interface between academic, research institutions, the aviation sector and the City of Hamburg, and one of the most advanced German technological research centres with impressive facilities. ZAL’s focus is on the integration and industrialisation of aviation technologies. Projects developed here are jointly owned and produced by all participants, working together as partners. Technology fields are organised in the three so-called Centres of Competence (CoC)—Aircraft Mauufacmring & MRO, Cabin & Systems and Digitalisation Technologies. These centres cover various aspects of 14.0, such as new business models, additive manufacturing or predictive maintenance. ZAL runs in the formula of a public-private partnership (PPP). linking giants such as Airbus and Lufthansa Tecli- nik, with many small start-ups. ZAL acts, not only as a provider of ICs, thanks to its Tech Centre, yet it also stimulates the development of RV, due to dedicated, diversified CoCs. ZAL, and likewise Airbus, may also be regarded as cluster technology gatekeepers/anchor tenants, i.e. the key actors playing a central position with the capability of pulling around other members (Hervas-Oliver & Albors-Garrigos, 2014; Morrison, 2008; Baglieri, Cinici & Mangematin, 2012).

Besides these dedicated bodies, the Metropolitan Hamburg Region can boast having four universities, which are committed to teaching and research, in the field of aviation. These include the following: Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg); Helmut Schmidt University of the Federal Aimed Forces, Hamburg; Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and the University of Hamburg. Local authorities, who play a crucial role in founding many initiatives, are also involved.

Thanks to the various projects conducted, the cluster can expand its core competencies. Conducted initiatives range from research on fuel cells as a possible source of energy; acoustic improvements in the cabin, maintenance methods for new materials, to the optimisation of airport processes. Specific novel initiatives are bom in the most significant players, such as Airbus. In 2018, Airbus launched the 14.0 think-tank and lab learning, and set up ‘Factory of the Future’ to ease the digital transformation for its staff (work clothes: gloves, glasses, exoskeleton and smart t-shirt). Despite these multiple activities and, the fact, that Airbus interacts with different firms, its role as a dominant integrator of HAv knowledge is assessed as relatively weak (Buxbaum-Couradi. 2018), although, it indisputably impacts upon the whole cluster performance (Aznar-Sanchez & Carretero-Gomez, 2016; Lazerson & Lorenzoni. 2008; Buciuni & Pisano, 2015).

Three significant areas of work and pillars of HAv cluster are research and innovation moderated by the ZAL; skills and expertise moderated by the HCAT, and supply chain and SMEs moderated by the Hansa Aerospace and HECAS. HAv, and likewise seven other Hamburg clusters, work in the triple helix format, so it satisfies all necessary criteria of co-operation among academia, business and public authorities.

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