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MAE Partners in Forlì

By Project MAE
MAE Partners in Forlì


On April 17 and 18, 2024, the third interregional meeting of the Moving Towards Aerospace (MAE) project under the Interreg Europe program was held in Forlì and Bologna. The event gathered partners from various European regions to discuss the current state and future prospects of the aerospace sector, focusing on interregional cooperation and local stakeholder engagement.

Meeting Objectives

  •     Share and compare mappings of local aerospace ecosystems.
  • Discuss and consolidate the first drafts of Good Practices.
  • Engage local stakeholders through visits and discussions with industry experts.
  • Plan the next local event and develop a methodology for sector transformation.


First Day: April 17, 2024

Event Opening

The event was opened by Giulia Bubbolini (CISE, MAE LP), who welcomed participants to Forlì, followed by Monica Piraccini (Municipality of Forlì, MAE PP2), who introduced the partners to the historical and current significance of the meeting venue, the former Santarelli kindergarten, now renovated to host 3D technology labs, co-working spaces, and a start-up incubator.

Round Table on Ecosystems

Giulia Bubbolini initiated a round table where partners aligned their aerospace ecosystem mapping activities. Emilia-Romagna presented its key resources, such as the strong automotive sector and the "data valley" infrastructure, highlighting the growing specialization in drones thanks to the University of Bologna's research center in Forlì.
Lorenzo Ciapetti from the University of Bologna, an external expert, provided input to explain road-mapping activity toward policy change as a result of the ecosystem mapping activity.

Project Partners Presentations

Each project partner presented the state of their aerospace ecosystem:

  • Emilio Astray Yepes (GAIN) on drone initiatives in Galicia.
  • Jos van den Boom (TU Delft) on R&D subsidies in the Netherlands.
  • Mari Didriksen (Nordland CC) on demographic and skills challenges in Norway.
  • Cornelia Banghea (SWO RDA) on Craiova Airport's expansion in Romania.
  • Hana Brožová and Jan Lukačevič (Prague Innovation Institute) on regulatory complexities in the Czech Republic.
  • Theresa Mulvhill (Clare CC) on investments in aerospace innovation in Ireland.

Shared Good Practices

Partners presented various Good Practices (GPs) for regional transfer and implementation:

  • CISE: Regional scholarship for aerospace economics funded by the ERDF.
  • Clare CC: The Emerald Aero cluster supporting aviation sector digitization.
  • SWO RDA: Technology transfer from universities to SMEs funded by the ROP.
  • GAIN: The CUI initiative for economic transition through public procurement for innovation.
  • Prague Innovation Institute: Innovation breakfasts promoting stakeholder engagement.
  • TU Delft: SAM XL field lab for high TRL results.

Visit to the Aerospace Research and Innovation Center

Participants visited the Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (CIRI) in Forlì, observing labs dedicated to satellite monitoring and unmanned vehicles, followed by an open discussion on aerospace ecosystems and trajectories.

Award Ceremony for ICARO Hackathon Winners

The ICARO hackathon award ceremony, organized by EUROAVIA in collaboration with local MAE partners, recognized achievements in aerodynamics, materials, and business models.

Second Day: April 18, 2024

Held at the Emilia-Romagna Chamber of Commerce, discussions continued on aerospace transition trajectories.

Presentation of Partner Candidates

Igor Vijatov (AC Serbia) presented the Serbian automotive cluster, which focuses on component production and raising awareness about the green transition as a potential partner for project expansion.

Discussion on Clusters and Transformation

Lorenzo Ciapetti (UNIBO) emphasized the importance of clusters in Emilia-Romagna, bringing together companies, research, and public authorities. The Mec, Innovate, and Create clusters present at the table highlighted the crucial role of cross-fertilization for economic transition.

Coordination Committee

During the coordination committee, the next steps for exchange activities were planned. Giulia Bubbolini announced the release of a methodological template for regional policy road-mapping, along with a virtual meeting for budget monitoring in May.
The meeting concluded with the presentation of details for the next interregional event to be held in Ireland in October 2024. Partners were invited to provide feedback and actively participate in upcoming planned activities to ensure the success of the MAE project.

Action List

  • Share meeting report and materials by May 13, 2024.
  • Submit certified financial reports by May 15, 2024.
  • Confirm dates for the next interregional meeting by mid-May.
  • Launch stakeholder survey by June 15, 2024.
  • Share road-mapping methodology by June 2024.
  • Complete and share the Good Practices template by June 30, 2024.
Aerial system
Innovation activity