Skip to main content

Programme Category


Article available in the folowing languages:

Breakthrough innovation for European Aviation

Specific challenge: A number of very ambitious goals have been set by the sector at horizon 2050 in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE). Many of these goals will not be reached through an evolutionary approach only. Breakthrough innovations are needed, i.e. new solutions which rely on a disruption with respect to current approaches.

Scope: The proposed research and innovation actions could address the vehicles as well as the air transport system. Regarding vehicles, research and innovation actions could target new technologies and concepts that are not currently used in aeronautics or that have not yet being put in combination in the aviation sector. This could be, for example, radical new approaches to propulsion, to the use of energy, new types of vehicles, etc.

Regarding the air transport system, the proposed research and innovation actions could address radical new concepts for the way vehicles, passengers and freight are handled in airports, the type of handling and servicing equipment used, the way airports are organised and connected to other modes, the way information is shared, used and handled on the landside part of the airport.

The proposals should aim at demonstrating the validity of the technologies and concepts following a sound technical and scientific approach. The performance should be assessed preferably quantitatively against the relevant criteria such as for example economic viability, time efficiency, safety, potential to cope with evolutions of regulations, passenger friendliness, social acceptance, etc. Considering that a large fraction of air pollution on airports is caused by handling and servicing, aspects of environmental friendliness and energy sustainability should be taken into account. The actions should also assess at the end of the project the potential of the technologies to be developed at further technology readiness levels and barriers that could prevent such developments.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Actions will demonstrate their potential to mature the Technology Readiness Level (TRL; please see part G of the General Annexes) in the range 1-2, to prepare the ground for future highly innovative breakthrough products and services for European aviation which will contribute to decrease the environmental impact, enhance the competitiveness, the mobility and the levels of safety. Actions will also provide ad-hoc indicators to evaluate the potential improvements that the breakthrough technology / concept is capable of bringing, using realistic hypothesis and scenarios.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions