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Targeted research action in advanced structural efficiency



If European industry is to keep its competitive edge it needs to maintain and enhance its overall efficiency. The aim of this thematic network is to address structural efficiency of aircraft as a key element in securing our market position. Acquisition of technology clearly plays a significant role in structural efficiency and so we must strive to maximise the benefits of the investments made within the European framework.

The ADSTREFF thematic network addressing Airframe structural efficiency addresses the whole process from airframe design through manufacture to service life monitoring and environmental issues. Identification of research that needs to be carried out in a European framework will be addressed in the thematic network. The breadth of the subject implies a high degree of complexity and so a framework in which developments can be collected, reviewed and guided toward an integrated research programme is vital if maximum benefit from current and future research activities is to be achieved. Identification of research needs will be achieved by each of the projects clustered in the network providing enhanced visibility of their achievements and how the results are designed to address specific needs and how those needs contribute to improvements in structural efficiency. The network will the, set the cluster achievements in context of the network and establish the strategic needs. The strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats will be identified and assessed by risk analysis.

This network will assess current research activity within Europe for all relevant industries, particularly the automotive sector where there are similar needs and requirements. This will be achieved by networking across all sectors of industry and identifying the strengths that can be applied as a multi-sectoral activity. It should also identify gaps in the current research programmes. This will support the development of future research strategies for European industrial requirements. Networking on collaborative research across a number of industrial sectors on advanced and novel manufacturing processes. Incorporating the supplier chain within programme will ensure a consistency across all sectors adding value to the European manufacturing industry.

The research effort covered by this thematic network is targeted at identifying and developing technology that would enhance capabilities in the aeronautical technologies sector. Growth in global passenger traffic is projected to grow at around 5% annually leading to a demand of some 16000 to 17000aircraft. However existing supplier excess capacity and fiercely competitive markets drives the European industry to preserve its competitive edge by maintaining its technology lead. The strategic importance, in terms of employment and revenue depend upon continued technological innovation and successful implementation by the companies of the European community, the thematic network proposed here is a tool toward achieving this aim. The Long Term Technology Plan gives broad outlines for the general route to the future. The Network proposed is to provide a forum under which the needs of industry and the opportunities of the market can be analysed and a clear vision of the future defined. It will allow industry and the commission generate a clear plan for the future research that can benefit most from being carried out as collaborative projects with a European dimension.

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