Aerospace Valley is a bi-regional competitiveness cluster dedicated to aeronautics, space and embedded systems. Officially recognized by the French national government in 2005 it is today the largest and most mature R&D cluster in France entirely devoted to the aerospace sector. With its main office located in Toulouse, and a local office in Bordeaux, the cluster gathers the two geographically adjacent regions Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine. Today Aerospace Valley has 680 members including, amongst others, 70 primes and 350 SMEs as well as the major aerospace research establishments and engineering schools. Overall, Aerospace Valley represents 1/3 of the French aerospace workforce totaling to around 120000 industrial employments in 1200 industrial establishments.
In terms of R&D activities, a total of 8500 researchers and scientists are active on the Aerospace Valley territory; this represents 45% of the total French national R&D potential in the sectors of aeronautics, space and embedded systems. Indeed, Aerospace Valley must essentially be considered as an innovation and research think tank.
As of October 2013, Aerospace Valley members have initiated a total of some 680+ collaborative R&D projects which represents an accumulated budget of 890 M€ between industry and research organisations covering most of the scientific and technical areas related to the sectors of aeronautics, space and embedded systems.
The overall objective which initially, in 2005, motivated the creation of any of the French “pole de compétitivité” was the creation (and preservation!) of employment through the fostering of local and regional competences in dedicated technical and economical areas.