During the recent visit from Skane Region we had the opportunity to visit Aeronautics Advanced Manufacturing Center (CFAA) in Bizkaia Technology Park, near Bilbao. This purpose of this centre is to develop collaborative projects in manufacturing and technology readiness levels near to the market (MRL/TRL 5-8, Pillar 2, according to NASA scale) to demonstrate and validate aeronautic engine components and propulsion systems and industry 4.0. technologies in operational environment.

Among others, CFAA provides the following technology capabilities: high performance multi-axis machining technologies, multitasking, precision and high speed machining; EDM/WEDM (sinking/wire electrical discharge machining); Additive Manufacturing (SLM, LMD); Metrology & Inspection (coordinate-measuring machines, digital radiography and tomography); deburring and Robot welding.

The Aeronautics Advanced Manufacturing Center (CFAA) was created in 2015, by the University of the Basque Country with an Economic Interest Grouping (EIG) of 14 partner companies, members of AFM Advanced Manufacturing Technologies and HEGAN Basque Aerospace cluster associations, with support of the provincial council of Bizkaia and the Basque Government. The CFAA is a private-public venture and is one of the strategic action lines in the Basque RIS3 (Advanced Manufacturing priority) and Industrialisation Plan, together with similar initiatives, such as the Advanced Manufacturing Centre for Wind power (WINDBOX).

The funding of the centre is a mix of programme contract with the partner companies, projects funded by different calls and institutional support, including co-funding from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). 

Currently, the CFAA has 59 partners, 53 are industrial partners (of which 32 are SMEs), OEMs; Tier 1, 2 and 3, local but also global players including partners from France (1), Germany (6), Japan (3), UK (1), Sweden (1), Switzerland (2) and the USA (5). The partnership also involves a vocational training and engineering school, IMH, and two cluster associations (AFM and HEGAN), in charge of coordination and dissemination activities supporting the development of the centre partnership.