Research is the life-blood of the aeronautics sector. The aeronautics, defence and security industries invest billions of euro every year to ensure that continuous research leads to game-changing advanced materials, systems and structures. Research provides tomorrow's answers to today's challenges.
For industry, Research & Technology (R&T) concerns the design, feasibility studies, and maturation processes for technologies. The readiness of a technology is scaled through different levels (Technology Readiness Levels - TRL). The higher in the scale, the more mature the product is, and it is deemed ready for market at TRL 9. In the aeronautics sector, research cycles are extremely long, for example, an aircraft's journey from its conception to its commercialisation typically takes fifteen to twenty years.
The European Union has shown unprecedented commitments to support research, by setting up the Horizon 2020 programme: H2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation.
H2020 supports aeronautics and security research through its societal challenges and notably thanks to flagship programs such as "CleanSky" and "SESAR" Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The SESAR JU aims at developing state-of-the-art technologies for European Air Traffic Management (ATM) to optimize flight paths, both in terms of security and energy-efficiency. As the technological pillar of Europe’s ambitious Single European Sky (SES) initiative, SESAR is the mechanism which coordinates and concentrates all EU research and development (R&D) activities in ATM, pooling together a wealth of experts to develop the new generation of ATM.
The ASD Research and Technology Commission (RTC) gathers companies’ experts to coordinate the long-term Research & Technology strategy. Taking in consideration the specificities of ASD sectors long and costly research cycles, the RTC analyses European research policies to promote industry’s longstanding experience in both incremental and disruptive Research and Innovation.
The RTC is a priviligied interlocutor for the European institutions on Research. It voices the industry’s messages, notably in the perspective of the interim evaluation of European research program H2020 and the drafting of the subsequent program PF9. The RTC consists both of direct company members and National Associations' representatives. It is currently chaired by Clive Scott from Leonardo and vice-chaired by Mr Uwe Hessler from Rolls-Royce and Mr Christian Picollet from Safran.