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EU and Russia agree to work more closely in aeronautics research

On 18 June 2007, at the Paris Air Show, the EU and Russia signed an agreement to work together more closely in the field of aeronautics research. As part of the overall objective of creating an EU-Russia common space of research and education, a new aeronautics Working Group will be set up, joining others in areas such as energy, food, life sciences and nanotechnologies.

Paris Air Show
Paris Air Show

The aim of the ‘European-Russian Working Group on Civilian Aeronautics’ is to create favourable conditions to further expand the relationship between the EU and Russia in the area of aeronautics research, in line with the stated overall objective of creating a common research and education space. It will also contribute directly to increasing partners’ competitiveness in a crucial global industry.

Signing terms of reference establishing the new Working Group were András Siegler, Director of the European Commission’s DG RTD Transport Directorate, and Evegeny Gorbunov of the Russian Ministry of Industry.

Breaking new ground

András Siegler
András Siegler

According to the terms, the Working Group will establish, step-by-step, a common decision-shaping process with a view to creating closer mutually beneficial links between research agendas and researchers, as well as coordinated implementation tools. The parties’ long-term plans and strategies while also be taken into account, along with intellectual property issues.

The Commission’s Directorate-General for Research will co-chair the Group. European members will include representatives of the Transport Directorate-General and DG RTD’s Aeronautics Transport unit. On the Russian side, the Ministry of Transport and Energy will co-chair. Representatives will include members of the Ministry of Transport. Meetings will take place on a regular basis, about twice per year.

High-level support

Speaking at a separate event at the Paris Air Show, EU Research Commissioner Janez Poto─Źnik referred specifically to the new agreement, calling it another major step forward for EU-Russian relations in the field of aeronautics research.

It was Commissioner Poto─Źnik who, in December 2005, along with Russian Minister for Education and Science Andrei Fursenko, endorsed measures towards the creation of a common EU-Russian vision for research. Its full realisation will allow EU and Russian research capabilities to be jointly harnessed for the benefit of sustainable economic development, industrial competitiveness and to address pressing global issues.