D²RAGON: aerospace cluster in China
The Netherlands has a comprehensive knowledge infrastructure and expertise in aerospace. This makes our country an attractive partner for the rapidly growing Chinese aircraft industry. In April of this year the government and a number of companies, including TenCate, signed a covenant for cooperation in this field: D²RAGON. Within its Asia strategy TenCate is already working jointly with players in Chinese aerospace. The two programmes in this twin-track approach can strengthen each other.
Partners for International Business (PIB) is a public-private programme for groups of Dutch companies and knowledge institutes that have the joint aim of entering a foreign market in one of the top sectors. One of these sectors is High-Tech Materials & Systems, such as composites. Part of PIB is D²RAGON. This includes research and development in aerospace with the support of a network organized by the government (Dutch Development and Research in Aeronautics supported by Government Organized Network).
The contribution of TenCate consists of technological knowledge and materials. TenCate Advanced Composites and Fokker Technologies are two companies within D²RAGON that are already operating in the Chinese aviation market. As part of its Asia strategy TenCate has concluded agreements for cooperation with major players in the Asian aviation industry. Networks and partnerships are being established and expanded.
D²RAGON focuses on establishing a good and stable market position for the Dutch aerospace cluster in China. Its short-term objectives include entering into an agreement between the Dutch and Chinese governments (G2G) for technological, industrial and academic cooperation, the development of commercial activities and involvement in the ‘concept definition phase’ of the 929 wide-body of COMAC. In the medium term they intend to conclude at least two contracts with COMAC for development and design.
K2K (exchange of knowledge) is also a part of the programme. Chinese aircraft manufacturers can make use of Dutch knowledge and expertise in the field of aerospace. The aim is to increase the number of Chinese students at Dutch colleges and universities that provide courses in aeronautical engineering, which will benefit long-term cooperation.
See the printed version of txtures for an interview with Raoul Starmans (business development manager, TenCate for Greater China) and Harm Albers (sales manager, TenCate Advanced Composites). Raoul Starmans organizes the local representation of TenCate composite technologies for the next generation of Chinese commercial aircraft. Harm Albers was co-signatory to the D²RAGON covenant.