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Promoting research in aerospace at European level

Mrs. Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsible for research, innovation, education, training and youth, met with Mr Jürgen Rüttgers, German Minister for research, on 24 March 1998 to discuss the promotion of a European strategic research action in the field of aerospace. She als...
Mrs. Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsible for research, innovation, education, training and youth, met with Mr Jürgen Rüttgers, German Minister for research, on 24 March 1998 to discuss the promotion of a European strategic research action in the field of aerospace. She also delivered a speech to a wider audience in Bonn on the development of EU-supported research in the aerospace field, in particular in the context of the forthcoming Fifth Framework Programme.

The meeting should contribute to developing the Key Action on "Aerospace" planned for the specific programme on "Promoting Competitive and Sustainable Growth". This will form part of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme, presently under discussion in the Council and Parliament.

Aerospace represents an important sector of the European Union's economy, employing over one and a half million people. The European aerospace industry has an overall turnover of ECU 35,000 million, of which ECU 15,000 million stems from exports. It is also an advanced technology field in which Europe is in a position to compete with the USA throughout the world.

Research in aerospace has benefited from increased support within the EU's R&D Framework Programmes, with ECU 120 million in funding under the Second Framework Programme, increasing to ECU 400 million under the Fourth Framework Programme. However, given the need to provide for a new generation of aeroplanes of different types by 2010, the EU has proposed new and greater efforts in this field. Edith Cresson indicated that "the Fifth Framework Programme should be the occasion to pass from support-based research to strategic-based research".

The approach recommended by the Commission in this area is characterized by the development of medium or long-term technologies and the design of large-scale technical validation projects. Mrs. Cresson also emphasized the need to ensure complementarity between the "Aerospace" Key Action and German national research programmes.

Source: European Commission, Service du Porte-parole

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