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Important role for Russian partners in aeronautics research

Co-operation with Russia is a vital part of the EU’s science and technology programme. At the recent EU-Russia workshop on aeronautics research, Russian players had a chance to ‘show their stuff’.

TsAGI test facilities © TsAGI
TsAGI test facilities

The EU-Russia workshop on ‘Collaboration in aeronautics research’ featured visits to key research installations around Moscow, including TsAGI, CIAM, GosNIIAS and VIAM. Hosting the visits were the Mayor of Joukovski and TsAGI Director Vladimir Kargopoltsev

Speaking at the TsaGI institute in Joukovski, 35km from Moscow, European Commission Deputy Director for Research Zoran Stančič said, “Today, the Russian Federation is the EU’s first partner in terms of scientific and technical co-operation. For all those who are aware of the history of aerospace, it is a big honour to be here in a place that can be considered a ‘Mecca’ of aeronautics.

Joukovski is well known for its ‘MAKS’ air show, the equivalent of the Paris, Farnborough and Berlin air shows in Western Europe. The Russian government, with the approval of President Putin, has now granted Joukovski the title of the Russian Federation ‘Science City’, which means some federal and county taxes go to the city for developing its scientific research programmes.

Zoran Stančič
Zoran Stančič

“Joukovski is really the place to be when you want to talk about aeronautics,” said Stančič.

Joukovski, Science City

Appearing only recently on the map of Russia, Joukovski is the country’s most important aerospace centre. At the time of Soviet Union, it was a military base and consequently closed to non-authorised personnel. Today it remains at the heart of Russia’s aeronautical research and planning, with several air traffic control centres and runways, including the longest runway in Europe, stretching 5.4km.

Research Institutes and Universities in Joukovski:

  • TsAGI Institute
  • Mikhail Gromov LII Faculty of Aerodynamics
  • Mikoyan-Gourevitch Aeronautical Studies Bureau (OKB)
  • Scientific Research Institute for automation and instrument design (NIIP)
  • MiGpilot training centre

EU-Russia collaboration has focused on science and technology research, but also on industrial activities. Many European companies have already established strategic partnerships with Russian organisations, explained Stančič, and the EU, he said, is determined to continue to foster and support these partnerships. Participation of Russian organisations in EU-funded aeronautics projects is also very substantial.

Who’s who in Russian aeronautics research

  • CIAM
    The Central Institute of Aviation Motors is a Russian research establishment engaged in the integrated study and development of aeroengines. Activities range from the study of basic physical processes to participation with industrial organisations in the manufacture, upgrading and certification of new engines.
  • GosNIIAS
    The State Research Institute of Aviation Systems develops integrated avionics and flight and navigation systems for combat and commercial aircraft, including helicopters.
  • TsAGI
    The Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute was founded in 1918 under the initiative and leadership of N. E. Zhukovsky, the father of Russian aviation. Today’s TsAGI is one of the largest scientific research centres in the world, combining basic studies, applied research, structural design, pilot production and testing.
    TsAGI has also a longstanding history of international cooperation with research centres but also major international companies all over the world, and its International Business Department is extremely active.
    TsAGI has been an active participant in ISTC since 1995 on projects of high interest such as wake vortex laminarisation and aircraft ecological properties. TsaGI is currently participating to 10 EU FP6 projects and is the National Contact point for Aeronautics in Russia for the European Framework Programme.
  • VIAM test facilities © VIAM
    VIAM test facilities
    © VIAM
    The Institute of Aviation Materials, founded in 1932, carries out fundamental and applied research in a variety of materials-related areas. VIAM has concluded more than 60 contracts with leading non-Russian companies.

What is the ISTC?

The International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) was established by international agreement as a non-proliferation programme in November 1992.

Today, the ISTC coordinates the efforts of numerous governments, international organisations, and private sector industries, providing former weapons scientists from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States with new opportunities in international partnership. Through its political, legal, and financial frameworks, the ISTC contributes to fundamental research, international programmes and innovation and commercialisation, linking the demands of international markets with the exceptional pool of scientific talent available in Russian and the CIS.

Ongoing process

In February 2007, an important European delegation led by the European Commission’s Director General for Research Manuel Silva Rodriguez travelled to Moscow for a conference on the issue of international co-operation. The high-level meeting addressed many topics of mutual interest such as energy, nanotechnologies, health and climate change. EU officials say the meeting confirmed once again a strong political willingness on both sides to strengthen co-operation.