Offset transactions in the domain of defence procurement provide Swiss industry with an opportunity to participate in the development of new technologies and qualify as long-term suppliers to large foreign companies. Swissmem has always supported the idea that the purchase of defence goods should as widely as possible be compensated for by offset transactions. The acquisition of the new fighter jet as well as the ground-based air defence system (Project Air2030) is set to trigger the next wave of large procurement orders soon.
In the past, it has been especially hard for SMEs to qualify as suppliers to major foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). To facilitate access to OEMs, Swissmem is entering into a cooperative venture with Californian company SyncFab. The latter operates a blockchain matchmaking platform which successfully brings firms in the US mechanical engineering and electronics industries together with OEMs in the aerospace, automobile, defence, medical technology, renewable energy and electronics sectors.
SyncFab’s digital platform provides Swiss industrial firms with secure, simple, efficient and low-cost access to bids from major OEMs. Swissmem’s objective here is to ensure that as many industrial firms as possible – in particular SMEs and companies from French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino – can take part in the offset transactions under Project Air2030. Swissmem and SyncFab have invited all bidders for the new fighter jet project to use the platform to search for Swiss offset partners. Lockheed-Martin has already been won as a partner for the pilot phase. On the Swiss side, a number of Swissmem member companies are participating in the pilot phase. The platform will subsequently be open to all interested Swiss industrial firms so they can apply to engage in offset transactions.
Plans to expand scope
Swissmem is convinced that the SyncFab platform will play a key role in successfully involving Swiss businesses in the upcoming major defence procurements. The platform will not, however, be limited to offset transactions. Going forward, it will be open to other sectors of industrial activity, thus facilitating smoother access to the global supply chains of large foreign enterprises. Above all, this will give SMEs the chance to present their strengths and innovative leverage to the world’s corporations.
Jeremy Goodwin, CEO SyncFab: «I am highly delighted and honoured to welcome Swissmem as a new partner. This strategic partnership widens the deployment of our blockchain application for secure, automated digitally supported supply chains to include Europe for the first time. Swissmem members will profit from our experience with the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), the US counterpart to Swissmem, as well as with the major US system vendors in the aviation, aerospace and defence sectors.»
Stefan Brupbacher, Swissmem Director: «By tapping into SyncFab’s technology, we can utilize the innovation, precision and agility of our companies – primarily in the defence sector, but also in other industrial segments. We can thus help Swiss SMEs to conquer the world with their products even faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively.»
SyncFab was established near Silicon Valley, where it is still headquartered today. It operates a digital manufacturing platform which rationalizes the way that OEM hardware supply chain buyers securely procure, manage and track the production of precision parts with the help of blockchain technology. SyncFab is employee-owned. The Starburst Aerospace Innovation Group holds a minority stake.
Swissmem is the leading association for SMEs and large companies in Switzerland’s mechanical engineering, electrical and metal industries (MEM industries) and related technology-oriented sectors. Swissmem enhances the competitiveness of its 1,200 or so member companies both at home and abroad by effectively representing their interests and providing needs-based services, targeted networking, and market-oriented basic and advanced training for MEM industry employees.
For further information please contact:
Ivo Zimmermann, Head of Communications
Tel. +41 44 384 48 50 / Mobile +41 79 580 04 84
Philippe Cordonier, Communications Manager, French-speaking Switzerland
Tel. +41 21 613 35 85 / Mobile +41 79 644 46 77