The Centre for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) has opened its pioneering
facilities for the research and development of new technologies for the Andalusian
aerospace industry, a centre which will contribute to improve the competitiveness
of the aeronautical industry and meet the RDI demands of companies at a
national and international level. The 4,500 m² facilities consisting of laboratories,
workshops and offices have involved an investment of 21 million euros by the
Spanish authorities and the Andalusian Regional Government.

Andalusia now officially has a pioneering centre of excellence
for research and development of new technologies
in the aeronautical and aerospace sector: CATEC,
the Centre for Advanced Aerospace Technology. These facilities
promoted by the Andalusian Foundation for Aerospace Development
(FADA) will act as the interface between different parties of
the Science, Technology and Enterprise system and will meet the
RDI demands of the more than 130 companies in the Andalusian
aeronautical industry, not to mention other national and international
companies, transferring know-how and technology in its
fields of expertise.
This new centre will place Andalusia at the forefront for the development
of specific technology in the sector, promoting RDI in
emerging areas of strategic interest to the national and international
aerospace industry. It will also promote a culture of innovation
among SMCs, improving knowledge management by aeronautical
companies and fostering national and international collaboration
between manufacturers and research centres.
CATEC’s facilities were recently inaugurated by the President
of the Andalusian Regional Government, José Antonio Griñán,
who highlighted that the Centre’s main objective is to contribute
to improve the competitiveness of aerospace companies through
scientific research, technological development and innovation,
promoting knowledge generation and technology transfer. He
also pointed out that CATEC is looking to establish itself as a
breeding ground for scientists and experts in technology transfer
to companies in the Andalusian aeronautical industry, and also for
recruitment of the researchers and experts themselves into the
company ranks. CATEC has in fact established itself as one of the
main platforms for the promotion of the Andalusian aeronautical
industry and an international benchmark in various important specialist
areas.
During the inauguration, José Antonio Griñán was accompanied
by the Regional Minister of Economy, Innovation and
Science, Antonio Ávila; the Director-General of the Andalusian
Agency for Innovation and Development (IDEA), Antonio Valverde;
the Director-General of CATEC, Juan Pedro Vela, and numerous
representatives of companies
in the Andalusian aerospace
industry, universities and academic
institutions.
Unique facilities
CATEC’s creation, start-up
and scientific and technological
equipment has required an
investment of 21 million euros
financed through a collaboration
agreement between the
Spanish Ministry of Innovation
and Science and the Regional
Ministry of Economy, Innovation
and Science of the Andalusian
Regional Government.
Its facilities include 3,000 m²
of laboratories and workshops
and 1,500 m² of office space located on the site of Aeropolis, the
Aerospace Technological Park of Andalusia, the only industrial
park in Spain devoted solely to the aeronautical sector. This is an
ideal location for the development of its activities as it is also next
to Seville Airport and the Airbus Military site, along with the FAL for
the A400M.
The Centre is already fully functioning and has a portfolio of R&D
projects valued at 3 million euros. It is also currently in the process
of evaluating and negotiating further contracts worth more than 6 million euros which will
guarantee its activities for
the next four years.
CATEC is promoted
and managed by the Andalusian
Foundation for
Aerospace Development
(FADA), a non profit-making
organisation constituted
in late 2007 to facilitate
the generation and management
of scientific and
technological aerospace
knowledge in coordination
with universities and other
research centres, providing
access by both researchers
and companies
to new developments in
the aeronautical industry.
The Centre is managed by a Board which comprises the main
public and private RDI entities in the Andalusian aeronautical sector,
universities, leading regional and national academic associations and
research centres and the most prominent companies in the Andalusian
sector. Its members include the Andalusian Agency for Innovation
and Development (IDEA), the National Institute of Aerospace
Technology (INTA), the Andalusian Association of Research and
Industrial Cooperation (AICIA), the Association of Aeronautical
Companies, Airbus Military, Alestis Aerospace and Elimco.

Areas of activity
CATEC carries out activities both independently and jointly with
companies in the fields of applied research, technology development,
technology intelligence and foresight analysis and technology
management (protection and industrialisation). It focuses on
the development of new technologies in the field of aerospace
materials, automation and optimisation of industrial processes,
development of new on-board systems and subsystems, testing
and certification of systems and subsystems and development of
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and associated technology.
Its different work areas are Materials and Processes, Avionics
and Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Automation and Robotics
and Simulation and Software. The Centre also has a fleet of
UAVs available for use in experiments to test and validate the
technology developed in these different areas.
CATEC also has a Knowledge Management Department
which provides support to these technological areas by promoting,
coordinating and/or managing national and international
RDI projects. This department also fosters technology transfer
and carries out exhaustive monitoring of new technological
developments in the aerospace sector, providing its servto both the Centre itself and external customers. It is also responsible
for publication and diffusion (both internally and industrywide)
of the results of research projects carried out by
the Centre.
These intense activities have enabled new research projects
and technological applications for the sector, at times the result
of strategic alliances and synergies which CATEC maintains
with other academic and technological entities to foster
the exchange of experiences and knowledge. CATEC currently
collaborates with various Public Research Organisations,
five universities in Andalusia and four in the rest of Spain, four
Andalusian technology centres and another three national
centres.
Specialisation is the key
To carry out this multitude of tasks CATEC has a staff consisting of
35 highly qualified professionals, the majority of which have higher degrees
in fields such as aeronautical engineering, industrial engineering,
telecommunications and computer science. It is one of the few
teams in Spain wholly devoted to aeronautical technology research.
The team also includes two doctorate holders and various technical
diploma holders.
The Centre also promotes accredited training for university students
through work experience programmes in relation to final
projects and postgraduate and doctoral scholarships which enable
students to obtain practical training while working on initiatives for
the Andalusian aerospace sector. It also carries out its research activity
through collaborators and resident specialists who participate in
CATEC projects, at times through Joint Research Units as part of the
initiatives of the 7th Framework Programme of the EU.
In terms of quality control, CATEC has all the certifications required
to carry out its technological research activity and the accreditation
required of companies in the aerospace sector, such
as ISO 9001 (Quality Management); ISO-EN 9100 (Quality Management
Systems for Aerospace Products); EN 166001 (Research,
Development and Innovation) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management).
CATEC places special emphasis on environmental matters
and sustainability and all its activities are designed to minimise
their environmental impact through efficient use of resources.
These concerns are undoubtedly increasingly present in the European
and international aeronautical industry. CATEC is looking
to establish itself as a leader for the development and application
of these new technologies, which are set to define the future of
the sector.

Date: 
Monday, January 10, 2011 (All day)