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Facilitating Collaboration in ReseArch and Development to Foster Further Innovation in European AeroNautics

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RADIAN (Facilitating Collaboration in ReseArch and Development to Foster Further Innovation in European AeroNautics)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-09-30

1. Problem and societal relevance
As the aviation sector is a fast growing sector of Europe’s economy and is associated with a wide range of economic and societal benefits – acting as a catalyst of technology transfer to many fields of mainly industrial application and vice versa – it is expected that those European regions that strengthen their Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) cooperation in aviation activities will significantly benefit both in medium and in long term.
Established supply chains feed aircraft and helicopters industries and – to some extent – the general aviation (GA) industries. The air transportation sector is the key market of the aircraft industry and links downstream to many subsequent sectors e.g. the tourism sector.
Statistics of the AeroSpace & Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) show the dominant position of the industry in UK, France, and Germany et al. All EU member states highly successful in AAT are also GARTEUR nations benefitting from decades of practical cooperation in aeronautics research. Other countries and regions hardly appear. Imbalance becomes evident also between Eastern and Western European nations. EC statistics indicate that the newer member states are less successful in Collaborative RDI projects.
There is a strong need to identify the main reasons that block efficient cross-European AAT research cooperation. Especially those regions should be considered where the actual cooperation level lacks the possibilities, capacities and skills, including recently associated countries as e.g. the Ukraine.

2. Goal and objectives
The main goal of RADIAN was a contribution to achieve a more integrated European research environment in AAT where:
- Researchers and engineers from academia as well as from commercial companies cooperate in a fully integrated network irrespective of their location, size and financial possibilities.
- Europe is getting more competitive in emerging new developments (such as the Unmanned Air-craft Systems’ market) by building new supply chains if necessary thus opening opportunities for further European commercial companies.
- The European aeronautics and air transport industry further integrates organisations origin from all EU Member States and in order to provide added value at European scale.

Therefore, the main goal of RADIAN was to increase the H2020-participation of organisations from emerging European aeronautics countries, tapping the real problems, and proposing solutions for more efficient cooperation. Participation in winning proposals and research projects are means to achieve progress. Thus, the main goal of RADIAN means to initiate sustainable RDI cooperation. Today, the view is targeted to the new Framework Programme Horizon Europe.

In order to realize the main goal RADIAN aimed at the following top objectives:
- Identifying the main reasons that hamper the efficient utilisation of European AAT research cooperation.
- Facilitating the cooperation among players from less developed regions and from key aeronautics areas.
- Sharing of best practices with all possible European actors in order to enable them to continue the cooperation beyond the duration of RADIAN.
Three interacting steps form the main “Pillars” of RADIAN:
- Pillar 1: an in-depth analysis of the participation in European AAT research, considering both EC data and the individual position of several organisations in Europe to identify 12 promising regions (Target Regions TR) which seem to perform less successful in European AAT calls than expected (WP1 and 2).
- Pillar 2: development and application of a tailored information and coaching program including identification of best practices for further analysis (WP 3 and 4).
- Pillar 3: development of an organisational structure able to sustain the network beyond the project lifetime as well as dissemination and exploitation activities. (WP 5 and 6).

RADIAN had to consider all regions of EU and AC regions. A first view on the geographical structure showed several hundreds of regions according to different definitions of the term “region”. In WP1 a robust methodology was developed to pre-select 24 Candidate Regions considering EC statistics, investigating the European AAT landscape, and using the expertise of the consortium. The main findings of WP1 and WP2 were:
- There is neither a simple “lead indicator” nor a set of figures derivable from proposal and project statistics of European research programs (e.g. eCORDA) which correlate with the performance of a region in AAT research.
- Success of a region in aviation (in the widest sense) bases on the cooperation of all regional stakeholders.
- More stakeholders on European level will require more support of research activities.

In pillar 2, promising organisations from TR were involved in tailored programmes to provide information about European Framework Programmes and their benefits, to identify specific gaps and barriers as well as their individual profile of skills and capabilities. This bottom-up approach was complemented by mapping the technological profiles with the SRIA taxonomy.

Pillar 3 provided the internet platform ARCPORT® which sustains beyond the lifetime of RADIAN. ARCPORT® supports confidential information exchange amongst users, to suggest suitable proposal / project partners and calls (considering individual profiles as well as the SRIA taxonomy).
Interacting with WP2 and WP4 (pillar 2), WP6 addressed all D&E activities, i.e. RADIAN website, newsletters, attendance at public events etc. Beyond the classical purpose of promoting results RADIAN took up feedback from WP6 to improve the generation of results.
Since FP5 the European Commission has invested in many CSAs in order to facilitate the involvement of IND, SMEs, HES, and RTOs in European aeronautics RDI activities. Most of these activities were successful and contributed to integrating new actors in European aeronautics RDI networks and projects.
However, even successful CSAs had limited effect beyond their lifetime and only very few could establish a self-sustaining organisation as e.g. the European Aeronautics Science Network EASN, while the majority ended in final reports, in no longer updated databases, at best in personal networks. Although several Eastern European regions as e.g. the Aviation Valley in South-Eastern Poland are developing their AAT clusters, they did not yet catch up fully. Also, their participation to European AAT projects remained limited.

The CSA RADIAN stimulated an increased collaboration in aviation research at EU level. It focused on regions in EU Member States and AC such as Ukraine, with lower participation in the EU Framework Programmes thus contributing to competitiveness, economical and societal benefits of the regions addressed.

RADIAN provided the most current and most comprehensive analysis of the European AAT research landscape, complementing earlier European activities. The analytical methodology developed in Pillar 1 can be re-applied in future if an update of the analysis is needed. Coaching programmes prepared and performed in Pillar 2 are available for further usage; the concepts to set-up profiles and to link them with the SRIA taxonomy was implemented in ARCPORT® which evolves to an attractive, self-sustaining network, facilitating the search for AAT proposal and project partners as well as for suitable calls and topics.
RADIAN Overall Strategy