Aeronautical research became part of the European Commission Framework Programme for R&D funding under FP2 (1987-1991) as a pilot scheme with a €2 million budget. Constant progress and efficacy has justified the growing presence of aeronautics within the European Commission Framework Programme for R&T funding. For example, European collaborative projects from the 5th (1998-2002), 6th (2002-2006) and 7th (2007-2013) Framework programmes have contributed substantially to technology development up to TRL 6 and have been deployed in large aircraft including the Airbus A380 and A350.
The Clean Sky JU was created as an act of the European Council in 2007 in the first wave of Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI), with the mandate of implementing an ambitious programme of environmentally friendly technology development, underpinned by a public-private collaboration between the Commission and Europe's aeronautical community.
JTIs are a key mechanism for performing research at EU level; they are long-term Public-Private Partnerships; and are managed within dedicated structures based on Article 187 TFEU (ex Article 171 TEC). The EU explains that JTIs “support large-scale multinational research activities in areas of major interest to European industrial competitiveness and issues of high societal relevance”.
The salient term here is “long-term”. For it’s the relatively long-term nature of JTIs that synchronises with the extended timescales that are typically required in commercial aviation - across research, design, technology demonstrators (in the case of Clean Sky), prototyping, development, manufacture, certification and deployment into service.
The first Clean Sky programme is entering its final months, and has exceeded the ambitious expectations set back in 2007. Having established and consolidated its credentials as a force for good in European skies, Clean Sky 2 is well under way with even loftier objectives. An array of ground-breaking new projects and their proposed demonstrators comprise radical approaches in areas of Large Passenger Aircraft, Regional Aircraft, Fast Rotorcraft, Airframes, Engines, Systems. In Clean Sky 2 the scope of innovative activity has been extended to include Small Air Transport too.
To summarise, with over 600 entities working collaboratively to pool expertise and resources, and a budget that's commensurate with the ambitions of creating greener and more effective technologies for the next paradigms of air travel, Clean Sky is successfully chaperoning aeronautical research and technology to where it needs to be for the challenges of European aviation – for tomorrow and beyond.
The Clean Sky 2 (CS2) is a Joint Technology Initiative (JTI), a public-private partnership bringing together companies, universities, public laboratories, innovative SMEs and the European Commission. It develops and demonstrates break-through technologies for the civil aircraft market to cut aircraft emissions and noise, and secure the future international competitiveness of the European aviation industry. The new CS2 JTI runs from 2014 to 2024. It brings together Europe’s aeronautics industrial leaders and public research organisations.
Air transport contributes today about 3% to global greenhouse gas emissions, with traffic expected to triple by 2050. Although other sectors are more polluting (electricity and heating produces 32% of greenhouse gases), this expected growth makes it necessary to address aviation’s environmental impact.
Meeting the EU’s climate and energy objectives will require a drastic reduction of the sector’s environmental impact by reducing its emissions. Maximising fuel efficiency, using less to go farther, is also a key costcutting factor in a very competitive industry – and as air traffic increases, better noise reduction technologies are needed. But game-changing innovation in this sector is risky, complex and expensive, and requires long-term commitment. This is why all relevant European stakeholders must work together to develop proof-of-concept demonstrators.
The technologies developed under CS2 will reduce environmental pollution and noise levels and will therefore improve the quality of life. The close collaboration between the partners of CS2 will accelerate the pace of technological progress and create a mutual win-win situation.
CS2 will help Europe’s aeronautics sector remain competitive. Europe currently has a world market share of 40% and the global aviation sector is expected to grow by 4-5% per year. But faced with fierce competition Europe needs to develop new technologies to create new market opportunities and new highly specialised jobs. For stakeholders in the EU-13 countries the new, enlarged JTI offers more opportunities to participate in building the best technologies.
The budget of CS2 is €4 billion. The EU contributes €1.8 billion from the Horizon 2020 programme budget. Industrial partners contribute €2.2 billion, €1 billion of which will come through additional activities that are not included in the work plan of the JTI but that support the achievement of its objectives.
JTIs are partnerships between the EU and industry. They establish their own strategic research agendas. The new CS2 JTI is managed by a dedicated Joint Undertaking whose Governing Board comprises representatives of the European Commission and Aeronautics Industry. 40% of the funds is earmarked for the founding members of CS2 who lead the technical programme and commit for the whole duration. 30% is to be allocated to core partners, selected through open calls at the start of the program, which will become full Members of the Joint Undertaking. The remaining 30% of funding will be distributed in annual open calls to support the specific tasks.
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