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European Aeronautics : A vision for 2020 - Contents
European Aeronautics : A Vision for 2020


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Creation of a new entity, the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe, designed to turn the current patchwork into a research network by defining the content of the Strategic Research Agenda and helping to make it a reality. The Council must be tripartite in composition, bringing together, in a non-bureaucratic way and recognising their particular roles, authoritative, senior figures from aeronautics stakeholders, Member States and the Commission to build consensus in favour of strategic actions.

We would expect that participation in the work of the Advisory Council would involve a commitment to influence all stakeholders to plan research programmes in the light of SRA priorities. Consensus at the Council level should also help in the sharing of tasks and shaping relations between national and EU programmes as well as influencing the deployment of funds.

The Advisory Council should also be an effective instrument for promoting the educational policies and standards needed to ensure that highly-qualified and talented people are available to the industry and to the research community in general.

While this is not the place to determine the details, we think it important that the Council should be a light structure of 20-30 people, identified for their experience, commitment and vision. Direct representation of the major stakeholders would be essential for this process to succeed. The Council's functions would be to:


Launch and approve the Strategic Research Agenda and update it every two years.

Make strategic and operational recommendations and commission future studies
for implementing the SRA and achieving the 2020 vision.

Evaluate the overall results and benefits of the SRA for Member States, the Commission and stakeholder groups. Develop and implement a communications strategy with two broad objectives:
  • promoting awareness of the SRA within the stakeholder communities and ouwards to larger public audiences;
  • disseminating sufficient information on stakeholders' research programmes to facilitate a consensus on priorities.

Recommend accompanying measures for:
  • getting the best out of existing research infrastructures;
  • achieving cost-effective investment in new infrastructures;
  • ensuring educational policies that will produce the scientists, engineers and other skills the industry needs.


The Council would be supported in executing its functions by a small, suitably qualified staff (the "Support Group") embodying, like itself, the tripartite principle. We would hope that this group would be drawn from the Commission, Member States and from stakeholders.


The SRA Process

1. Compiling the SRA: in producing the proposal on the content of the SRA, the Advisory Council's Support Group could commission highly qualified independent experts to provide input.

2. Approving the SRA: after detailed consultations with the aeronautics industry, Member States and the European Institutions, the Support Group would draft the SRA for approval by the Advisory Council.

3. Transmission to funding authorities: once approved, the SRA would be passed to the European Parliament, the Council of Research Ministers, Member States, and the European Commission.

4. Mapping the route: the Advisory Council's Support Group would translate the SRA into more operational terms and develop a strategic work programme as the basis for research programmes and associated requirements. This would be passed to all stakeholders and decision-makers involved in aeronautics research.

The success of this exercise almost entirely depends on rallying the political, industrial and research communities behind the SRA's priorities. If they do so, research priorities will converge, research performance will be more efficient and effective, there will be more opportunities for collaboration, and European aeronautics will become a global leader that responds to society's needs.


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