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5. The Challenges for Research & Technology










5.3 Sustaining the Flow of Technology

Creating Value in the European Research Area
There can be no success in aeronautics without an intensive research and development effort. The industry spends an average of 16% of its turnover on R&D which includes the substantial public contribution through EU, national and Research Establishment programmes.

The strategy for aeronautics must emphasise its output - better services, meeting social and business needs, creating competing products. This output will rely fundamentally on the creation and exploitation of new technology.

The existence of knowledgeable and well trained scientists, engineers and managers is the unquestionable prerequisite for meeting these challenges. A joint effort by the states, the industry, research institutions and, of course, educational institutions is necessary to attract talented people to work in aeronautics.

Creating new technology-based capabilities has three main elements:

  • Focus
  • Content
  • Management

Each of these has important implications for the European Research Area, providing an important contribution to the European research potential

This paper is very much about focus - identifying the imperatives for the future, the key goals that must be achieved.

Focus can be shared. These proposals assert that by sharing a discussion with the stakeholders in the European air transport system we can achieve a better focus and derive better, clearer directions for future research programmes.

History shows that solutions to challenging problems are not always predictable or similar. There are great prizes for those who can generate exceptionally clever solutions - creating solutions that are effective and low cost.

This premium on content means that not all research work can be widely shared. Firms need to generate competitive advantage. Nations want to sustain national abilities.

But content considerations do not mean that no co-operation is possible. Europe has outstanding abilities to create collaborative programmes in research. These work well when the programme meets the collective aims of the group or combines excellence in a powerful co-operation.

The European Research Area is a pluralist community - firms, nations, academia and research institutes have private, shared, and collaborative research programmes. There is competition and co-operation. There is no consistent management structure.

The aspiration for Europe, therefore, lies in creating a flexible set of mechanisms that respect the diversity of Europe but enable European strengths to be fully realised.

We must use the centres of European excellence, whether in industry, academia or in institutions, to further European goals. Excellence will have many faces.

Effective, market leading products and services will require the best technical capabilities that Europe can deliver. However, in order fully to unfold our strength the European Research Area needs shared visibility, harmonisation and efficiency.

European Aeronautics Research Area Background

  • EU Research Programmes leading up to a separate Key Action for aeronautics in the 5th Framework Programme.
  • National aeronautics Research & Technology collaboration in GARTEUR.
  • National Research Establishment co-operation in aeronautics in EREA.
  • Newly emerging national strategies for aeronautics research involving small enterprises and centres of excellence.
  • Combination of national capabilities and facilities such as European Transonic Wind Tunnel (ETW) and the German-Netherlands Subsonic Wind Tunnel (DNW).
  • Eurocontrol research programme.
  • Airbus 3E's programme.
  • Industry collaborating on long term research planning
    within IMG 3.
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