SMEs Backbone of the Aviation Industry

Since its foundation in 2009, the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership has always seen as its mission to strengthen the position of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the European stage. The European Union officially defines SMEs in the EU recommendation 2003/361 either through staff headcount or through turnover / balance sheet total:


Company category

Staff headcount



Balance sheet total


< 250

≤ € 50 m

≤ € 43 m


< 50

≤ € 10 m

≤ € 10 m


< 10

≤ € 2 m

≤ € 2 m


Due to the fast growing nature of the EACP, it has always been difficult to trace the evolution of the number of represented SMEs. Finally, we managed to get a detailed overview through a survey in which all of our 45 member clusters took part.
The resulting numbers are exciting and show how deep the connections between the EACP and SMEs is.


At the moment, 4599 SMEs throughout Europe are members in the EACP-clusters. Considering that Europe counts ca. 500 additional larger companies, it results in 70-80% total SME-rate in Europe’s aviation industry.