Aug. 9, 2016

A coalition of aviation and aerospace companies, industry groups and state educational institutions have joined the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) in a new partnership to explore the establishment of an aviation/aerospace center of excellence in southeastern Wisconsin.

The proposed Center of Excellence for Integrated Aerospace and Defense Technologies would bring together industry and academic researchers, engineers and programmers to develop and test new aerospace and cybersecurity systems in one location.

“The business aviation industry has strong ties to the state of Wisconsin,” said NBAA Midwest Regional Representative Bob Quinn. “We support this new partnership, and are confident it will lead to increased opportunities within our industry, as well as others, within the aviation community.” More than 1 million people across the country are employed in business aviation – a $219 billion industry in the U.S. The value of business aviation in spurring job creation and economic activity is among the central themes of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Establishing such centers of excellence is part of WEDC’s long-term strategy of advancing targeted, high-growth business clusters to develop high-quality jobs and significant job growth in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has more than 200 companies with ties to the aerospace sector, including more than 140 suppliers to Boeing.

More than 24,000 people are employed in Wisconsin by companies that support the aerospace sector.

“Many of Wisconsin’s aerospace companies are on the cutting edge of the industry and are developing technologies already in use worldwide,” said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who made the announcement at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. “The establishment of this center will enable the inventors and innovators in the private sector to work closely with our universities to ensure the state maintains and advances its position in this key industry.”

Learn more about the center.