Five minutes with... Christophe Bruneau, President of EPI Europrop International GmbH
The aerospace sector is booming. The AIRTEC trade fair, for example, which continues to be aimed towards growth, is proof of this. In October, the aerospace industry supplier fair will take place for the eleventh time in Munich, so this month we spoke to an expert from the aerotech sector: Christophe Bruneau from EPI Europrop International GmbH. Since 1st September, he has been in charge of the multinational joint venture comprised of MTU Aero Engines, Safran Aircraft Engines, Rolls-Royce and Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP), which produces the TP400 engine for Airbus Defence & Space. In addition, Christophe Bruneau has some interesting insights when it comes to Franco-German relationships. Among other roles, he is President of the French Business Club in Bavaria and the Bavarian department of the French Foreign Trade Councils.
Why did you – a company specialised in the aerospace sector – decide to settle in Bavaria?
Bavaria is located centrally in Europe and is the home of our customer Airbus Defence & Space. Moreover, Bavaria has a strong industrial basis and is thus an attractive location for graduates and young employees, not to mention the opportunity to establish partnerships with renowned universities and research institutions and to profit from financing for research and innovation in Bavaria.
What trends do you think the sector will have to deal with in the future?
The aerospace sector is emerging, and we would like to add value to the market and develop ourselves there. This way, technologies that were developed for aerospace can be modified for other sectors, such as the automotive industry (autonomous driving, connected car) or the railway sector. Partnerships with universities, institutions and industry make it possible to react to this new demand quickly.
Until recently, you were CEO at AES Aerospace Embedded Solutions GmbH. The company is a founding member of the Embedded Systems Software Engineering Institute (ESSEI), whose primary goal lies in the further development of processes, technologies and tools for software programming in the aerospace sector. In addition, it is part of bavAIRia, the Bavarian aerospace cluster. How does being a member of institutions and networks like this benefit a company?
Being a member of institutions and networks like this makes it possible to meet new companies and CEOs, make new contacts and hold interesting discussions regularly. The networks also build a company's profile. They make it possible to exchange market and practical experience with other companies and to use the best of those experiences in your own company to the greatest extent possible.
You lead a very international team. What reasons could you give to convince applicants to choose Bavaria as a location and what made you decide to move to Munich?
I think the reasons that brought me to Munich would also convince applicants. The quality of life is very high. Munich is dynamic and ambitious, yet it is also a peaceful city. You can experience urban life with the advantages of a green city: the mountains and many lakes can be reached in less than an hour, and the city itself has plenty of green space. Even if you do not own a car, there are plenty of transport options: suburban trains, underground trains, regional trains, the airport and cycle paths. The many international schools are a plus for international employees who come to Munich with their families.
You are very involved in Franco-Bavarian business relationships on a voluntary basis and work for a multinational company. What is the key to successful collaboration?
The goal must be to use the best of both cultures for the company. With regard to Franco-German collaboration, the perfect combination would be a German company structure with options for employee participation in a flexible, agile and creative environment “à la française”. Societies such as the Franco-German Business Club in Bavaria contribute to developing and continuing successful Franco-German collaboration. The club enables exchange of experience on various topics and discussion between companies and industries from a wide range of sectors.
You have been living in Bavaria for a while now. What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
In winter, I spend my free time skiing in the mountains, while in spring and summer, I enjoy sailing on lakes. And in autumn, of course, I spend time with my family at Oktoberfest wearing the proper traditional clothing.
Bavaria's economy is full of life – and the people who live and work here make the biggest contribution to this. In our monthly “Five minutes with...” section, we introduce an interesting person from business and research.