By Adrianne Beasley, Director of Aerospace Initiatives
Last month, SC Aerospace landed in Paris for the Paris Air Show (PAS), one of the industry’s largest trade shows. With more than 300,000 attendees and more than 2,300 exhibitors, preparing for the show takes about a year of cooperative planning between SC Aerospace and the SC Department of Commerce.
The SC Aerospace team works with the SC Department of Commerce to identify which South Carolina companies would benefit from exposure at the PAS and would represent the diversity and current landscape of the state’s aerospace cluster. A big part of my role in this selection process is serving as a subject matter expert on aerospace in South Carolina.
The four aerospace companies that joined us at PAS – TIGHITCO (North Charleston), FSC Cutting Tools (Greenville), Innegra Technologies (Greenville) and Zeus (Orangeburg) – are prime examples of the diverse array of expertise in SC’s aerospace cluster – composite materials, composite manufacturing tools, aerostructures, and advanced polymers. Each was given booth space within the SC Pavilion to showcase their products and conference space to meet with potential customers. The SC Department of Commerce works with our exhibiting companies to make the most of their week in Paris by helping them with meeting planning and matchmaking opportunities.
Once we’re in Paris and the show is underway, SC Aerospace’s focus shifts to existing firms in South Carolina. It’s important for us to touch base with all our existing aerospace companies, including their parent companies, to discuss any issues they may be experiencing that SC Aerospace can help alleviate. Connecting with our existing aerospace firms while at the Paris Air Show gives us a great opportunity to show them exactly what we’ve been up to, for example, the SC Aerospace Conference and Expo or the workforce development efforts of our Aerospace Education Working Group.
Making sure that both existing and potential aerospace firms know about the opportunities available in South Carolina is an important part of my job. SC Aerospace works diligently to help grow the business infrastructure to support the expanding aerospace industry here in South Carolina. We wake up every day thinking about how to make our aerospace industry more successful and encourage future investments, and it’s important for firms to see us as a valuable resource.
We may be back stateside after our week at the Paris Air Show, but planning is already underway for the Farnborough Air Show in July 2018. If your company is interested in learning more about exhibiting with Team SC in Farnborough, please email me or Anita Patel at the SC Department of Commerce.