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In December, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration partnered with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Commercial Service to host a delegation representing Vermont’s aerospace, aviation, and defense sectors at a reinvented 100% virtual edition of the 2020 Aerospace Innovation Forum by Aéro Montréal, with the theme of “Smart Travelling Rethought.” This effort was in support of the work to build a U.S.-Canadian Aerospace Corridor linking Vermont’s $2 billion aerospace and aviation cluster with the $28 billion Canadian aerospace industry for cross-border contacts and contracts. This was also part of the vision of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Aéro Montréal, signed in 2013 and now enhanced by extension of the corridor to Connecticut.
Due to generous support provided through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), and coordinated at the state level by the Vermont Department of Economic Development, Vermont’s delegation gained access to rich content on new and emerging trends from industry leaders, as well as online B2B meetings with prime contractors, Tier 1 suppliers, and fellow SME suppliers that represent Quebec’s $13.8 billion aerospace cluster. According to Gartner Research, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025.
As a special highlight, Vermont-based Beta Technologies was prominently featured in the Flying Taxis presentation by Martine Rothblatt of Unified Therapeutics at the 2020 Aerospace Innovation Forum. Beta is a visionary aerospace manufacturer developing the next generation of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which will transform urban mobility and the future of flight.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott said, “I’m pleased to support the partnership of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Commercial Service to advance Vermont’s aerospace and aviation industry. Vermont’s participation in Aéro Montréal’s Innovation Forum was one of many positive steps we have taken as we work to grow our state’s aerospace sector and strengthen the U.S.-Canadian trade corridor.”
Vermont Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Business Development Chris Carrigan said, “Our delegation and work in December is the culmination of seven years of inter-clustering and supply chain integration, which is optimizing global supply chains by providing our companies and northern neighbors with access to new markets, contacts, innovation, business opportunities, and contracts in a new virtual supply chain landscape.”
The 2020 Vermont delegation consisted of Beta Technologies, Burlington International Airport, Cam Development & Micro Components, KAD Models & Prototypes, Liquid Measurement Systems, Mansfield Heliflight, Manufacturing Solutions Inc., North Country Engineering, and Stephens Precision. For more information, visit www.themanufacturingsummit.com or Vermont Division of International Trade.