Clean Sky 2, the Largest European Initiative for RTD In Aeronautics, Meets in Bilbao
(Source: Basque Aerospace Cluster; issued Oct 30, 2018)
ZAMUDIO, Basque Country --- Bilbao hosted the official Infoday of Clean Sky 2, the main European public-private RDT initiative focused on the development of technologies and demonstrators that will give way to the future aircrafts: more efficient and sustainable. The figures that reveal the research magnitude of this program are its budget amounting to 5,600 million euros since its launch in 2008, as well as the participation of more than 600 organizations from 24 countries.

Clean Sky 2 aims to be one of the major contributors to the goals of the Flightpath 2050 established by ACARE (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe) as for example in the reduction of 75% in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the reduction of 90% in nitrogen oxides (NOx), the reduction of aircraft noise in flight by 65%, or the manufacture of recyclable aircraft. This European commitment in Aeronautical RDT is expected to continue after 2020 with a third Clean Sky.

The Clean Sky 2 Info Days are informative meetings organized in the openings of the Calls for Proposals, and expose the lines of research that the industrial partners of this initiative publish with the approval of the European Commission. For each call, two official Infodays are organized: one fixed in Brussels and the other in some other European city, which this time has relapsed in Bilbao, and which corresponds with the 9th call of this initiative.

The event organized by HEGAN, the Basque Aerospace Cluster, has been possible thanks to the collaboration of SPRI, EEN -Enterprise European Network- and the CDTI; and it took place in the auditorium of the SPRI building in Plaza Bizkaia in Bilbao.

Infoday Bilbao

The inauguration of this Infoday was attended by Iosu MADARIAGA, Director of Technology and Strategy of the Basque Government, who welcomed the attendees and emphasized the commitment of this Region (The Basque Country) to technology, innovation and environment. He highlighted the effort made by the Basque Aerospace Sector in RD investment and the increased participation of Basque organizations (companies, technology centers, universities, ...) over time and in the different funding frameworks (Basque, National and European) that he encouraged to use.

A special mention was dedicated to the role played by the CFAA - Advanced Aeronautical Manufacturing Center in the achievement of collaborative projects in Euskadi.

After that welcome, the future European aviation research, development and innovation programs; and the administrative, financial and technical aspects of Clean Sky 2 were described. These explanations were carried out by European representatives of the initiative and the CDTI. They announced that in 2021 a new Framework Programme will be opened: HORIZON EUROPE which will have a budget of 100 billion euros and emphasized the need for the SME to be aware of its need to participate in projects for its competitive improvement.

It is precisely the SME that is the objective of the work of the EEN - Enterprise Europe Network, which is the largest support network in the world for small and medium-sized enterprises. This network, according to its representative in this day, helps companies to innovate and grow internationally.

The most detailed talks of the day were during the next block consisting of four parallel sessions devoted to six areas: Large Passenger Aircraft, Engines, Airframe, Systems, Fast Rotorcraft and Regional Aircraft. These came from the hand of some of the industrial partners of Clean Sky 2, such as AIRBUS and SAFRAN, and from of the Project Officers (responsible for frameworks, programs and RDT projects) of the European Commission assigned to this Initiative. All of them detailed these different topics that will be opened on November 6th and that will remain open, this 9th call, until February 6th of next year how to respond appropriately to through the project proposals.

According to the speakers, this has been the local Infoday with more affluence in those who have participated since this initiative and to date; having attended almost 80 people from organizations of different nature: companies, technology centers, universities, innovation agencies and administrations.

Role of Basque Sector in Clean Sky and RDT

In line with this European strategy, HEGAN emphasizes the global character and the long cycles that characterize the aerospace sector, with life cycle products between 30 and 40 years and extensive capital-intensive development periods, with very long term returns. Maintaining a position in the market is complicated since it requires great reliability in design and manufacture, being subject to numerous quality, safety, technology and certification requirements.

In addition, it is one of the sectors with the highest percentage of its turnover reinvested each year in RDT, which has a direct positive effect on productivity and territorial competitiveness; and that produces a tractor effect in other industries. In fact, the social rate of return generated by aeronautical RDT programs is 70% per year, which means that for every 100€ invested in aeronautical RDT in 10 years the GDP is increased by 700€ according to the data of the Strategic Guide 2015-2025 of TEDAE.

HEGAN Members invested last year 201 million euros in RDT, with a growth of 34% over the previous year, with the aim of continuing to develop its strategy focused on competitiveness and innovation and thus promote its consolidation for the future. This figure represents an investment of 8.3% over sales. The self-financing effort of the companies represents 87.6% of the total of that investment and with 1,600 people dedicated to RDT activities.

Those Members took part in 181 RDT projects last year (in Regional, National and European calls). In this regard, the participation of 9 HEGAN Members in Clean Sky 2 as Core Parners (partners with a commitment to long-term participation in this technological platform) stands out. These Members are Aciturri, Aernnova, Altran, CTA, Danobat, DMP, IK4, ITP Aero and Tecnalia, which make up the core of 94 Core Partners European entities, which highlights the huge commitment of the Members of the HEGAN Cluster. In addition to these nine companies, the companies Ayesa Air Control, Batz Aerospace, SENER, the UPV/EHU and Cidetec Technology Center also participate in Clean Sky 2. In fact, the Basque Country is the second European region, behind Campania, by number of proposals accepted in 2017 in this Initiative.


The Aerospace Cluster Association of the Basque Country - HEGAN - groups 64 Members: Aernnova, ITP Aero and SENER as Founding Members; the Companies Aciturri, Aeromec, Aerospace Engineering Group, Aibe, Alestis, Altran, Aratz, Astorkia, Ayesa Air Control, Ayzar, Batz Aerospace, Bahco, Bost, Burdinberri, Danobat Group, DMP, Doilan, DTK, DYFA, Eibar Precision Casting, Ekin, Electrohilo, EYHER, TTT Group, Hauck Heat Treatment, Imedusa, Industrias Galindo, Khegal Aeronáutica, Kimua Group, Korta, LTK Grupo, Matrici, Mesima, Metalúrgica Marina, Met-Meka, Metraltec, Microlan, Mizar, Nivac, Nuter, Ona Electroerosion, Orbital Critical Systems, Renishaw Ibérica, Sariki, Satlantis, Sikulan, Sisteplant, TAES, Tecnasa, TM Telleria, WEC, Wolco and Xubi; the Technological Entities Cidetec, CTA, IK4 and Tecnalia; and the Universities of Deusto, Mondragón, Tecnun and UPV/EHU.

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