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Interview of Mr. Eric Dautriat, Executive Director of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking

Mr. Eric Dautriat, in his capacity of Executive Director of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking, explains the current status of the negotiations regarding "Clean Sky 2" and its main goals.

Q: We know that discussions for a possible continuation of JTI Clean Sky are currently taking place. Could you give us an update on the current status?

A: While Clean Sky will run until 2017, the continuation of the programme under Horizon 2020, the next European Framework Programme for research (2014-2020), is already in preparation. Horizon 2020 defines "smart, green and integrated transport" as a key "Societal challenge" for 2020, and one element of this Framework Programme is the potential continuation of JTIs.

A preliminary Programme Outline was presented by a group of lead-companies to the Commission in July 2012. This Outline has become the basis for evaluation by the Commission of the possible continuation of Clean Sky under Horizon 2020, commonly referred to as "Clean Sky 2". Last September, fourteen industry representatives and research parties signed a Letter of Intent, committing to provide resources, leadership and coordination to finalise a formal proposal to the Commission for a Clean Sky 2 JTI in Horizon 2020. The European Commission is now finalising its impact assessment, taking into account in a comprehensive way the current state of play, lessons learnt, evaluations as well as the first successes of the current Clean Sky initiative. Potential stakeholders and interested parties are progressively being invited to provide their views on the technical content and the organisation: among these are industrial companies throughout Europe, whether they already contribute to Clean Sky or not yet; but also research organisations, universities and SMEs.

The National States Representatives Group  is also well involved, providing recommendations and inputs, without prejudice to the position the Council will take in due time as regards Clean Sky continuation.

Q: What are the aims of Clean Sky 2?

A: Clean Sky 2 will achieve global competitiveness by strengthening the industrial leadership in Europe and by supporting Europe's knowledge economy through substantial R&D. It also aims to answer the mobility needs by ensuring competitive and sustainable transport solutions, both for passengers and freight.

Q: So, what are the differences and added value of Clean Sky 2 with respect to its predecessor?

A: Clean Sky efforts have until now been focused on major components and large systems demonstrations. Their potential combination into complete aircraft technology demonstrators is now opportune.  In addition to the integrated technology demonstrators (ITD), Clean Sky 2 will therefore introduce integrated demonstrations at the aircraft platform level. Newly developed systems, brought together in vehicle architectures through Clean Sky 2 will underpin innovative advances in the next generation of aircraft by integrating the technologies and mastering the risks that would otherwise be beyond the ability of private enterprise to bear.
Clean Sky 2 proposes two complementary types of demonstrator activities:

  • Innovative Aircraft Demonstrator Projects to carry out technology demonstration of aircraft systems at the level of vehicle platforms in large aircraft, regional aircraft, and rotorcraft.
  • Integrated Technology Demonstrators focussing on airframe, engine and systems.  
A continued and strengthened Technology Evaluator will monitor technological progress and its impact.

Q: How would Clean Sky 2 contribute towards the ACARE goals?

A: Clean Sky 2 will build on successes achieved in Clean Sky where projects have shown very positive results:  the potential for significant reductions in emissions and noise, and more efficient use of raw materials. It will both ensure the full achievement of the ACARE targets for 2020, maturing the technologies through still more integrated aircraft demonstration platforms, and start the journey to the more far-reaching objectives of the new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. And besides such continued environmental goals, enhancing the competitiveness of the European aeronautical industry and bringing more to the citizen's mobility solutions will also be part of the objectives.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add which would be of interest to the Aeronautics Research Community?   

A: One of our major challenges is to further widen and engage the research base, notably by strengthening core membership; we aim to ensure a large diversity of know-how and expertise from all research actors across Europe: research organisations and academia as well as the industry. Clean Sky 2 will also keep on involving partners through Calls for Proposals, even more strongly: 60% of the planned  3.6 billion Euro funding will be open to competition. The Joint Undertaking is fully committed to engagement from all talent and capability within the European Union, and in the preparation of the proposed programme, the principles of open and transparent competitive selection and broad engagement will be embedded in the steps made towards programme launch.  

Date posted: December 4, 2012, 7:51 am

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