Understanding the Industry

From Larry Cluphf, Director of the Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center and a member of the Air Washington group:

Why did so many businesses and educators decide to join the governor at the Paris Air show and visit companies in Germany? Because we know that Washington’s economy is highly linked to the aerospace industry.

There are 650 aerospace related companies in Washington besides the Boeing Company. If we are to keep and grow the aerospace industry, we must pay attention to our current customers, provide new research, be aware of current trends and above all understand our competition. Besides Washington, fifteen other states plus international representatives were well represented and vying for this business. This trip has allowed the delegation the opportunity to represent and promote Washington as a place to do business plus reaffirm our commitment to the aerospace industry.

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Eye-opening trip…

From Lee D. Lambert, President of Shoreline Community College

The governor’s trade mission to France and Germany was very informative and eye opening. As noted by the Consulate General in Hamburg, Germany it is important for USA to continue and strengthen existing relationships with it’s longstanding partners. As she noted, delegation trips like this one go a long way to show America’s commitment to it’s relationship with Germany. It was noted by the commercial service office that trade shows in Germany are one of the best ways to connect with existing and future partners.

I walked away from this trip with a deeper understanding of trends, partnerships and best practices in a global context. The competition for the ever expanding aerospace market is growing. Washington state must step up it’s efforts if it wants to continue to be the global leader. Examples of this was reflected at the 49th Paris Airshow. Within the USA, fourteen states were showcasing their efforts to attract and retain the aerospace industry. Many states highlighted their advantages be they tax credits, a strong well trained employee base, solid supply chain and a commitment to developing the future workforce.

This was a reminder of the role community college’s play in supporting the attraction and retention of the aerospace industry.

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Productive trip for life sciences…

From Chris Rivera – WBBA

We are winding down our trade mission in France and Germany today. It has been an extremely productive trip, and I am confident will lead to many new and ongoing collaborations with many of our Member organizations. We started in Toulouse, meeting with one of France’s biotech clusters that is in formation, the Cancer Bio Health Center, as well as with Pierre Fabre, a privately held pharmaceutical company. The response to our delegation was very welcoming, but the response from everyone that I meet outside of our great state was the same; “wow, we had no idea that Washington was so innovative and was home to so many world-class research organizations and companies.” There is great interest in beginning communications and learning more.

From Toulouse, to Paris. What a beautiful city! I spent nearly a year earlier in my career negotiating a licensing deal with Ipsen, a Paris based BioPharma company, so many memories were stirred. I also had a chance to go the to the Air Show, what a treat! Great meetings with the Paris bio-cluster, Cancer pole. The Governor joined us at Saint Louis Hospital, a 400 year old hospital. The conversation was very, very productive, again a similar response to our overview of life sciences in Washington, but once this impressive group realized the types of world class oncology research, development and commercialization organizations we have, we hope to facilitate some long-standing relationships that help patients with cancer, globally!

Yesterday was a very special day. Not because we had to get up at 4am to catch our flight from Paris to Hanover, Germany, but I turned 50 years old. We had a wonderful day with the BioRegioN, Hanover’s organization, similar to the WBBA. Our hosts we wonderful, we also signed an MOU with BioRegioN to help facilitate collaborations. A private lunch with the Governor and Prime Minister was quite enjoyable, and a meeting with NGlobal, Lower Saxony’s economic development organization led to an agreement by NGlobal to bring a multi-industry delegation to Seattle next year, anchored by our conference, Life Science Innovation Northwest.

A bus ride to Hamburg, allowed many of us to get a quick power nap in, so we could be fresh for a reception at the US Consulate in Hamburg.

Today, should also prove productive. I am off to meet with Norgenta, the WBBA of Hamburg state, and then some meetings on renewable energy before we head back to the state’s tomorrow, where I am off to BIO, and another very productive week telling people about our state’s great life science sector! I have a great job!!!

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A few more pictures…

From Gov. Chris Gregoire:

I wanted to include a few more pictures of the trip… Below is a picture of me and the governor of Lower Saxony in Germany outside of the International Neuroscience Institute in Hannover. They tell me they shaped the building to look like a brain… I think you have to use your imagination a bit. Also below is a picture of me speaking at the summit, and witnessing the signing of the memorandum of understanding. I also included a picture of the great story in the Paris Air Show daily publication. That story was likely read by some of the most influential in aerospace!

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Arrived in Germany!

From Gov. Gregoire:

Guten Tag! After three long days in Paris — I’m still feeling a tad guilty about subjecting our WA delegation to a 4am wake up call this morning to ensure we arrived in Germany on time. A lot of sleepy eyes boarded the bus this morning to the airport – but by arrival, we were all in good spirits. Me especially — not only did my baggage arrive at the airport (I was nervous after my flight to Madrid!), but we finally saw some sun! It feels like it’s been raining this entire trip… Additionally, I was made aware this morning that Washington state’s work to build our composite sector was prominently featured in one of the daily magazines distributed to thousands of aerospace industry leaders at the Paris Air Show! Our composite industry has now gained world-wide attention – and I couldn’t be happier. The exposure we received through that article is immeasurable – and the headline is fantastic: “Washington seeks to become Silicon Valley of Composites.” I hope to get a link to the article posted soon…

As soon as we landed in Germany, we wasted no time getting to work. I joined our life-sciences delegation to attend an international summit on life sciences in Hannover. There – the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association’s Chris Rivera not only celebrated his 50th birthday (happy birthday Chris!), but I also witnessed as he signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate with his counter-parts in Germany to ensure advancement and job-growth for both regions. And they’re wasting no time collaborating! Life science leaders from Germany have agreed to visit Washington state in July, 2012 for our annual life sciences summit.

I also met with the Governor of Lower Saxony to discuss other opportunities for collaboration. We had a great discussion – and look forward to a future visit from him to Washington state. While I conducted those meetings – our aerospace representatives met with their Germany counterparts to discuss ways to strengthen our training programs.

All in all — a great day. Tomorrow – we wrap up the trade mission with a tour of Hamburg’s Airbus facility to ensure the plane manufacturer uses Washington aerospace suppliers. We also visit a composite research center. More about the trip soon!

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The Mission continues in Germany…

From Rogers Weed, Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce:

We wrapped up our time in France with visits to energy, automotive and life sciences companies and organizations. France, like Washington state, has an energy system with a very low carbon footprint since nuclear energy and renewables make up the vast majority of the energy generation.

The Governor visited with senior leaders of both Areva and Électricité de France (EdF) since both have significant investments in our state (EdF via their US renewable subsidiary, enXco and Areva via their nuclear fuel assembly operation in Richland). We discussed Fukushima and high water in the Columbia River and assured both companies that we value their investment in Washington.

We also introduced some of our software and services companies to French automobile manufacturers, where we began a dialogue on cooperation between our Washington Biotech and Biomedical Association (WBBA) and some of the leading cancer research organizations in the Paris region. All in all, it was very productive. And now, we’re in Germany for our big finish!

 

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Absolutely Amazing!

From Mary Kaye Bredeson, Director, Center of Excellence for Aerospace:

Absolutely Amazing! These two words do not even come close to the collective feelings shared by those of us who are here at the 49th Paris Air Show representing “Air Washington”. The exhibits, the networking opportunities, viewing the latest and greatest emerging trends and more importantly, witnessing the fierce competition from 15 other states who are here to win aerospace OEMS and the supply chain companies that support them. Their presence and keen exhibits truly exemplify their intentions of pulling out all the stops to lure not only our aerospace companies but others as well to do business in their state. I only hope our related message that we will be bringing back to Washington “do not take our aerospace jobs for granted” is listened to and acted upon.

The last few days we have been privileged to watch and hear our Governor meet with Aerospace leaders and many International Aerospace companies touting the collaboration that the Washington State legislature and the Governor herself accomplished this last session in support of Aerospace jobs and training in Washington. She is listening to what industry needs. This makes a difference to those companies here selling their products and services. Air Washington is here to share the same message. Come to Washington, we not only listen, we act on it! I concur with a statement made recently by Dr. William Bonaudi, President of Big Bend Community College, Moses Lake, and Board Chair of the Center of Excellence for Aerospace Advisory Board, “When we’re successful in interpersonal interactions its usually because we actively listen at least as much as we speak.  Working with the international aerospace community is the opportunity to practice these skills to the utmost.  We have great talent to offer and will be successful only if we listen carefully to the needs and concerns of our aerospace community.  I’m impressed with the collection of talent represented by all of our aerospace colleges and our ability to collaborate to offer the best services found anywhere.”

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