Aerospace Districts: Acceleration of the Strategic Transfer of Regional Advancements

AD-ASTRA is a project with the overarching objective to build an interconnected, inclusive innovation ecosystem across Europe, with a shared focus on the aerospace innovation sector and cross contamination to and from other innovative sectors.



AD-ASTRA aims to develop a connected, competitive and inter-regional innovation ecosystem between 5 major EU regions (Occitania, South Holland, Madrid, Puglia, Emilia-Romagna).



The impacts for the AD-ASTRA project are stemming from the creation of an enabling innovation ecosystems across Europe

AD-ASTRA (Aerospace Districts: Acceleration of the Strategic Transfer of Regional Advancements) is a project about the positive interconnection among innovation ecosystems, with a focus on aerospace sectors.

The project aims at the development of a connected, competitive, interregional innovation ecosystem between 5 EU regions (Toulouse, South Holland, Madrid, Puglia, Emilia-Romagna) with:

  • a shared interest in fostering aerospace sectors, enhancing the cross-contamination to and from other innovative sectors (e.g., automotive, biomedical, agri-food, big data);
  • different innovation readiness levels; 
  • aerospace districts with different levels of maturity and consolidation.

“Diversity generates wealth”: the collaboration of these markedly diverse regions, furthermore represented by partners from different spheres of the quadruple-helix, will be a growth opportunity. The establishment of a solid and long-lasting collaborative EU network, able to exploit complementary skills, experiences, territorial and industrial vocations, will contribute to create a “critical mass” in EU strategic sectors such as innovation and aerospace, where global competition leads to a confrontation with actors of increasing size and requires innovative models and approaches.

This ambitious goal will be achieved through an iterative process: 

  • starting from the collection, analysis and systematization of the experiences (competencies, technologies, networks) of the partner regions with reference to their aerospace districts; 
  • analyzing the future evolutions of the ecosystems, in response to technological, economic, political, and social megatrends; 
  • correcting or validating hypotheses and evolution models with the support of stakeholder groups; 
  • defining an action plan for the development of each of the regional aerospace ecosystems, valuing experiences and good practices stemming from other regions and strengthening spin-in and spin-out processes to and from other industrial sectors and territories.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement

No 101070786.

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.