Dutch aerospace cluster increases prospects of Middle East contracts

The National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands (NLR) and five SMEs signed on June 26th at Agency NL a covenant called ‘Desert Tulip’, aimed at winning contracts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The five companies , QAPS, TNT Express, KvE Composites, Vision Waves and WCAA , decided to cooperate because their aerospace activities complement each other excellently. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation will financially support the consortium for three years to help them cultivate marketing and sales.

Desert Tulip is a PIB, or covenant of Partners for International Business. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation is initiating PIBs to promote Dutch aerospace industry in the UAE by identifying, developing and contracting work for Dutch joint ventures. The Netherlands holds approximately one percent of the global aircraft market. The Dutch aerospace cluster is striving to secure a bigger market share through close cooperation in exporting knowledge and expertise. A trade mission headed by the Dutch Aerospace Group (NAG) recently went to the UAE (visiting cities including Abu Dhabi and Al Ain).

The Desert Tulip PIB covenant is a good example of how knowledge institutions like NLR are endeavouring with and in support of the business community to leverage opportunities for obtaining foreign orders. Desert Tulip offers the prospect of long-term business with the UAE for five and in due course ten companies. This will capitalise abroad on the aerospace knowledge developed in the Netherlands. NLR has now received several requests for offers from the region and has already secured its first contract.