22 November 2019

Trade Mission North Germany

A Dutch delegation of NAG members and prospective members visited North Germany from 11 to 13 November. This trade mission consisted of visits to Lufthansa Technik, INNOVINT, MTU, ZAL and Airbus Bizz Lab, as well as several networking activities and events. These visits were organized in cooperation with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the Netherlands Business Support Office Hamburg, Hamburg Aviation, Hanse Aerospace, Niedersachsen Aviation and European Enterprise Network. The focus of the trade mission was on manufacturing and MRO in the context of the German supply chain and mechanisms. It is part of the NAG Germany Strategy, which aims to increase the opportunities for the NAG members in the coming three years in different regions of Germany. The mission was an official Dutch Entergprise Agence (RVO) mission.

The Dutch Delegation existed of: ADSE, Bond 3D, GKN Fokker, KLM Engineering & Maintenance, Royal NLR, Pronexos, Proponent, Qualitair Aviation Group, Technobis and VIRO.

On the first day of the mission, the group traveled to Hamburg and started their day bright and early at Lufthansa Technik. This first visit was the beginning of a number of highlights for Helene de Wolf, Operations Manager at Qualitair Aviation Group. Qualitair is a recruitment and project specialist solely for the Aviation & Aerospace industry. “It was my first time joining a mission with the NAG. The reason to join was to get in touch with different companies to see if there is a need for the services we offer as Qualitair. It was a full program during the 2,5 days, but not too full. I thought 2,5 days was exactly enough because otherwise too much work will remain if we are away too long.”

The afternoon saw the delegation stopping by Innovint, a company with a very long history in aircraft interiors. There were two very interesting pitches from 3D ICOM and CompriseTEC followed by a tour of the surprisingly elaborate production facilities in the middle of Hamburg. Good connections were made, which were explored further later in the visit. At the end of the first day, a b2b matchmaking was organized at the TuTech, in collaboration with the European Enterprise Network. Around forty companies participated in this successful and fully packed evening.

“The matchmaking session was really valuable”, says Frank Wokke from Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR). “It was a good format. Slightly more time slots would have been appreciated, because it is not always possible to estimate in advance what you can do for each other. Therefore, you want to talk to as many parties as possible.”

“I think the matchmaking was a good start of this mission”, says Rolf Evenblij from Technobis. “Since MRO is a new sector for our company – and we are still investigating how it can be interesting for us – it was important to find out how the MRO sector works and speak to different people.”

The second day started with a tour and meetings at the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research where the participants learned more about the unique eco-system. In the afternoon there was a ZAL Dutch Lunch connection, which offered the unique opportunity to meet all the interesting start-ups and researchers active at ZAL.

After the lunch connection session, the group visited the Airbus Bizz Lab.

They closed the day with a networking dinner at the office of the Honorary Council.

The last day, the group traveled to Hannover to visit MTU Aero Engines. They got a tour around the company and closed with a tasteful lunch.

Helene de Wolf shares: “I was impressed by the effort the different companies did to make us feel welcome. I felt their appreciation that we were visiting them.” Rolf adds: “In addition that it was an interesting mission, I also enjoyed the fun group. It is good and more valuable than you may think to talk to others, share experiences and get to know each other’s business more.”

Overall the trade mission was a great success and a promising beginning to the closer interaction and investment in the relationships with the German companies. For more information and futher events, please keep an eye on our website.