AED Days 2020 reaches record breaking numbers

9 October 2020

With more than 760 participants, the digital edition of the Cluster's main event was a great forum to discuss the present and future of the ASD sectors and a window of business opportunities.

AED Cluster Portugal held, this week (October 6-8), the Cluster’s annual and main event – AED Days.

This was the 7th edition of the event, which took place in a 100% online format and made it possible to bring together the entire national and international ecosystem from the Aeronautics, Space and Defence sectors, reaching a record number of participants:

  • +760 participants
  • +300 companies
  • 24 countries

The opening of the event was made by the Minister of State, Economy and Digital Transition, Pedro Siza Vieira, and the President of AED Cluster Portugal, José Neves.

On the first day (October 6th), relevant issues in the sector were discussed in a wide approach, such as geopolitics and its impact on the aerospace industry, the transformations in the current market and the way in which ASD sectors can contribute to greater sustainability. Also the importance of Portugal being present in the European Union’s Next Generation program, as an enhancer of resilience and strategic autonomy, as well as the necessary commitment to the digital transition of the ASD sectors, were also some of the points under debate.

“Our vision, for this 7th edition, was that the event would contribute to the continuous evolution and development of the Portuguese industry, in the face of the digital and ecological transformation that already mobilizes these sectors. Considering the international exposure already achieved, the event has also catalyzed the positioning of the Portuguese industry as a relevant player in the global Aeronautics, Space and Defence markets “, explains José Neves, President of AED Cluster Portugal.

On October 7 and 8, the discussions were more technical, addressing topics such as the impact of COVID-19 on the sectors and the opportunities that have been emerging at this time of the pandemic; the challenges that the naval force has been facing and also the ones to deal with in the future; the best ways to promote greater competitiveness in the field of aviation; how can we use aerospace technology to prevent and fight forest fires; among others.

Parallel to these discussions, there was also the Virtual Exhibition Forum, which featured 15 virtual booths, and B2B meetings scheduled between the various participants.

“We can say that the event was a success and the AED Cluster drew important conclusions for the three sectors in our country, such as the National Recovery Plan as an opportunity to boost the ecosystem in terms of its sustainability, resilience and strategic autonomy, in addition to leveraging the great evolution path we have taken so far”, reinforced José Neves.

In this 7th edition, once again, major international players, such as Airbus, Bell Flight, Embraer, Eviation Aircraft, Thales or Northrop Grumman were present, as well as policy makers representing the European Commission, as the Director of the DG-DEFIS (Defense Industry and Space) and the Aviation Policy Officer of DG-R&D (Research and Development).

Portugal’s image abroad is that of a country that has invested heavily in the qualification of its human resources, and that has all the necessary capacity to compete through the development of innovative and high quality products. In this sense, the national presence in international events and missions, promoted by AED and its counterparts in recent years, has undeniably contributed to the creation of a consistent image of the Portuguese AED sector worldwide.

The AED Days 2020 were, without a doubt, another milestone that cemented this reputation.

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