The aerospace industry in Europe is one of the economy's many pillars, stimulating exports and the manufacturing sector significantly. In the EUs Fifth Framework Programme (FP5), EU-funded initiatives known as Scratch projects supported the sector's thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One of the latest Scratch initiatives was the EU-funded project 'Support for SMEs collaborative aeronautical technical research' (Scratch PHASE IV) supporting aeronautical businesses between 2004 and 2006. Representing a partnership of 20 associations and firms from across the EU, the project supported SMEs in acquiring technology in addition to raising research and development (R&D) awareness. It assisted the sector's SMEs across the EU and Associated States in jointly preparing technology acquisition proposals. Moreover, Scratch PHASE IV helped SMEs structure their corporate research plan, and assessed their own needs, in addition to supporting funding mechanisms and enriching databases to encourage partnerships. This ultimately led to the submission of several research and technological development (RTD) projects to the EU for evaluation. Looking to the future, the project evaluated SME requirements in light of the upcoming FP7, ensuring the sector's sustainability over the long term. The combination of these actions has undoubtedly helped ascertain the viability of the aeronautic sector in Europe, preparing for new cooperation initiatives and bringing the EU's newest members into the aerospace arena.