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ACARE Goals Progress Evaluation

State of the Art - Background

ACARE (the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe) is the European Technology Platform for aeronautics and air transport, and its purpose is to provide guidance for the future of the European aeronautics research aiming at two general objectives: to meet society's needs for an efficient air transport system and to achieve global leadership for Europe in civil aviation.

The ACARE origins can be traced back to 2001 when the Vision 2020 document was produced, which identified the challenges and goals to be met by 2020 to enable a sustainable future for European civil aeronautics.

ACARE's work has been very successful, and this can be measured through the influence which it has been exerting on the air transport community at large. ACARE, through the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), has been providing guidance to:

- Community Framework Programmes

- National programmes of the Member States

- Stakeholders' initiatives

In order to maintain its strategic guidance role beyond the 2020 timeframe, ACARE has set a new roadmap for the development of a third edition of its SRA.

One of the priority objectives to support this roadmap is to measure progress towards Vision 2020's goals. This is essential in order to quantify the state of implementation of the research agenda which is a pre-requisite for setting new goals stretching beyond 2020.


The objective of AGAPE is to perform the actual measurement of the progress being achieved towards the Vision 2020 goals starting from the reference of the year 2000, when the Vision 2020 was created. These goals were elaborated in the first Strategic Research Agenda (SRA-1) under a specific Challenge Area:

Quality and affordability:

1. fall in travel charges

2. passenger choice

3. air freight services

4. halve time to market

Noise and emissions:

5. 50% CO2 reduction

6. 80% NOx reduction

7. 10 dB reduction in external noise

8. noise footprint reduction

9. green manufacturing


10. 80% reduction of accident

11. minimise human error

ATS efficiency:

12. 3-fold increase in traffic

13. 99% flights within 15 min

14. time in airport < 15 or 30 min

15. seamless ATM system


16. zero successful hijack

Performing the measurement involves the evaluation of the impact of the aeronautics research projects performed in the period 2000-2008 in Europe.

The main objects of analysis are the Framework Programmes (FP) and in particular FP5 and FP6, as well as relevant national and privately funded programmes.

Performing the measurement involves understanding the factors which are controlling progress, the capabilities which can enable progress, the interactions among goals, etc.

Description of Work

The AGAPE project is organised around four work packages (WP).

WP1: Data collection: Information on the research projects to be evaluated is gathered.

WP2: First stage review: Teams of experts in different disciplines review and analyse the aeronautical research (in FPs, and national and privately funded), either finished or ongoing, to evaluate the progress achieved towards the completion of the goals.

WP3: Detailed review: the process is similar to the one used in WP2, but the goals are considered in more detail. The evaluation of the anticipated progress is performed based on the available information. The experts in charge of the evaluation of a goal take a broader angle of analysis by taking into account the interdependencies across goals and by carrying out sensitivity analyses, reviewing the influencing factors and identifying gaps and opportunities.

WP4: Data synthesis: From the review performed by the experts, this work package is dedicated to bring all the elements together in a synthetic form to generate the AGAPE Final Report. All the experts will take part in a workshop to consider cross-challenge and cross-goal influences and sensitivity analysis.

Expected Results

AGAPE defines an approach and mechanisms which will enable periodical quantitative evaluation of the progress being achieved by the output of R&T activity (in particular the Framework Programmes) towards the ACARE goals. The end deliverable of the project is a final report addressing the measures of overall progress towards each goal and the understanding of potential barriers for further progress. The final report contains an analysis of the SRA-1 framework better outlining what has changed since it was developed and new developments which have taken place but were not initially foreseen.

The output of the AGAPE project will be used for several purposes but the prime ones to consider are:

1. to provide ACARE with information for it to be able to consider the next steps (including a future edition of the SRA);

2. to provide information to assess/reassess priorities;

3. to contribute to the definition of new research policy objectives;

4. to provide information to demonstrate the benefits of ACARE's SRA approach.

By investigating the state of play of research conducted at European level, the proposed evaluation activity will constitute a useful tool for the future planning of European research in aeronautics.

Front Page of the ACARE SRA 1
Front Page of the ACARE SRA 1