Nine European aeronautics firms sign memorandum of understanding on Clean Sky JTI

October 17, 2006

Brussels, 16 October 2006

Nine leading European aeronautics companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the Aeronautics Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) 'Clean Sky'.

The Clean Sky JTI will be the largest aeronautics research project ever, with a total estimated budget of €1.7 billion and, if the European Parliament and Council of Ministers agree, could include financing from the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) over a seven year period. The signatories to the MoU are AgustaWestland, Airbus, Alenia Aeronautica, Dassault Aviation, Eurocopter, Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg, Rolls-Royce, SAFRAN and Thales.

The large technological research programme will aim to improve the impact of air transport on the environment through technologies and solutions enabling step changes in the reduction of noise, emissions and fuel consumption for future aircraft. By facilitating the early introduction of innovative products, the initiative is intended to contribute to European sustainable growth, enabling the industry to attain the environmental goals set by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE).

ACARE goals to be met by 2020 include a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions through drastic reduction of fuel consumption, an 80% reduction of NOx emissions and a 50% reduction of external noise. ACARE has also called for green product life cycle design including manufacturing, maintenance and disposal.

'Today's declaration by nine major players in the aerospace industry illustrates industry's willingness to mitigate any environmental impact aerospace might have,' said European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik.

He went on to emphasise the importance of cooperation within the sector going further, including in the context of a public-private partnership designed to stimulate research in this field. 'By working together, we can identify and overcome obstacles to the implementation of this technology in all its very many applications,' said the Commissioner. 'We can tackle technology bottlenecks, raise public awareness and appreciation, address issues such as safety, and develop standards that ensure technology developed in Europe is used not just here but around the world.'

The Clean Sky JTI partners say that the initiative will provide opportunities for all industries throughout Europe, with specific actions for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and a focus on the new EU Member States. It will also need the active participation of universities and research centres.

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