The Farnborough International Airshow is regarded as one of the top trade events for the global Aerospace and Aviation industry, alternating biennially with the Paris Air Show. Companies such as Lockheed, Boeing, Airbus, GE Aviation, Raytheon and GKN, just to name a few, debut their newest airframes, avionics, engines and components, and exhibit everything from landing gear and cabin concepts to wiring systems and sensing components. It’s a great opportunity for companies to showcase themselves. It’s also an ideal opportunity for economic development organizations to do some bragging.
Ohio has a lot to brag about too. Dayton is the birthplace of aviation, and today, a key point of differentiation for Ohio remains our impressive innovation infrastructure. The state is home to both NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Air Force Research Academy. These two facilities along with universities and private companies, spend more than $10 billion annually on cutting-edge engineering research and scientific development. These critical public-private investements position Ohio as a worldwide leader in advanced technologies. In addition, Ohio is engaged with four National Network for Manufacturing Innovation institutes, which bring together industry, academia and government to nurture innovation in manufacturing.
This innovation infrastructure also generates an educated and abundant talent pool to sustain and grow our aerospace industry. Forty-five colleges and universities across the state offer programs supporting aerospace careers. Moreover, Ohio schools graduate 10,000 engineers a year, a number that exceeds current industry demands and provides opportunity for growth.
The well-established aerospace ecosystem is the reason that Ohio is the number 1 supplier state to Boeing and Airbus, and consists of nearly 600 private companies employing 41,000 Ohioans. Our comprehensive supply chain allows companies to ramp up quickly and move products to market faster than ever.
Innovation, talent and ecosystem, that’s the Ohio aerospace value proposition. Although Ohio was among 12 other states exhibiting at this year’s show, these three pillars help us stand out from the crowd. The Ohio booth, which was sponsored by JobsOhio and supported by our partners REDI Cincinnati, Dayton Development Coalition and TechSolve, showcased Ohio as the premier location for aerospace and aviation companies. Our message was further enhanced by our co-exhibitors, including the University of Cincinnati (UC), The Ohio State University and five innovative companies.
We held more than 95 meetings, generated seven solid leads and confirmed two projects. We talked with companies from numerous countries, including South Korea, Turkey, Israel, Germany, France, Poland and the United Kingdom, about the advantages of doing business in Ohio and touched base with many companies already doing business in the state.
We also helped UC showcase its new partnership with the University of Bordeaux (UBx) in France. The two universities announced a dual-enrollment program in which students will earn a Master of Engineering degree from UC and a UBx international university diploma focusing on aerospace systems and aircraft operations. The program not only gives students international experience, but also helps Ohio continue to produce a pool of smart, talented workers.
The success we experienced at Farnborough reinforces the value of participating in these premiere events. It’s such an effective and efficient way to meet and develop relationships with companies that can benefit from being in Ohio. The trade show gave us easy access to the top decision-makers from some of the world’s most iconic companies. In just one week, we connected with nearly 100 of them. I believe these impressive results show not only the dedication of the entire Ohio team, but also the strength of Ohio’s aerospace and aviation story. From the very beginning with the Wright Brothers through present day innovation, Ohio will continue to be a part of the future of this industry for generations to come.
I can only imagine what will new advancements will come next this industry, but I look forward to it happening in Ohio.