Foreword to Innovation takes off – Clean Sky, European research for aeronautics

Summary : Global air transport is experiencing a steady growth, which is forecasted to continue over the coming years and decades. The aeronautical industry is a key sector of the European economy in a highly competitive international context. In order to ensure the environmental sustainability of this growth, while strengthening Europe’s place among the worldwide frontrunners for preserving and creating jobs in this sector, European and national authorities have mobilised, together with industry.
Clean Sky is the flagship of a vast effort which spans from science to technological innovation. A public-private partnership, this so-called “Joint Undertaking” is a new kind of structure, a joint effort of the European Commission and hundreds of industrial aeronautical firms. Started in 2008, it has since been widened through a considerable financial increase, within the framework of Europe’s most ambitious research programme ever, Horizon 2020.
The point is to imagine, foster and test innovative technologies in order to reduce, in particular, the acoustic impact and carbon footprint of aircraft. Those projects make reference to well-defined directions in research and development, favour rational investment and promote cooperation between industry, research centres, universities and Small and Medium Enterprises. But just how will the European Union contribute to progress in the field of excellence which is aeronautics? Join us in discovering what is in store for the coming decades, in the spirit of a shared adventure, combining imagination with real-life experiences which shed light on the stakes, not only for science and the environment, but also for society and the economy.
It is an enterprise which lifts the curtain equally on the will of public authorities and on private players, participating together for the good of a European dream, founded on that which is most promising: research and innovation.

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