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Commission approves French R&D scheme for the aeronautics sector

The European Commission has approved a French research and development scheme for the aeronautics sector. The scheme covers the period 1996 to 2000, with a budget of ECU 196 million foreseen for 1996 for research and development activities in the areas of airframes, aeroengine...
The European Commission has approved a French research and development scheme for the aeronautics sector. The scheme covers the period 1996 to 2000, with a budget of ECU 196 million foreseen for 1996 for research and development activities in the areas of airframes, aeroengines and avionics.

The principal beneficiaries are individual companies, with a relatively small amount of ECU 7.5 million in 1996 for the financing of aeronautics R&D activities by public non-profit-making higher education or research establishments.

One of the companies to benefit from the scheme is Aérospatiale, for the development of a new, long-range Airbus, the A330-200. The project involves R&D in airframe construction technologies, aerodynamic and systems testing, test flights and aircraft certification. The project cost is estimated at ECU 154 million for 1996 to 2000, with state aid in the form of a repayable advance of ECU 51 million.

Another company to benefit is the aeroengine manufacturer SNECMA, for feasibility studies on aeroengines and the development of associated design methodologies. The project cost is estimated at ECU 431 million up to 1998, with state aid of ECU 154 million.

Aid will only be granted by the French authorities for "precompetitive development activity", which excludes demonstration or pilot projects that can be converted or used for industrial applications or commercial exploitation. In addition, aid for companies will be for R&D activities which are demonstrably over and above normal product development operations.
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