EASN Newsletter - January 2023


  • Welcome to the 13th EASN International Conference


    The EASN Association and the University of Salerno are glad to announce the 13th EASN International Conference on "Innovation in Aviation & Space for opening New Horizons" which will take place in Salerno, Italy from the 5th until the 8th of September, 2023. The conference venue will be located at the Fisciano Campus of the University of Salerno.

    Like its predecessors, the 13th EASN International Conference will include several Plenary Talks by distinguished personalities of the European Aviation and Space sectors from the academia, industry, research community, and policymakers.

    The event will also give the opportunity to scientists and researchers from all over the world to present their recent achievements in a series of thematic sessions, organized by internationally recognized scientists.

    Furthermore, the conference is expected to be a major European Dissemination and Exploitation event of Aviation & Space related research, as it will provide a forum for presenting their activities and achieved goals, discussing current trends and future needs of aviation & space-related research, and trying to identify possible synergies with each other. Additionally, several policy development projects will also find the floor to present the strategic priorities of the European aviation sector.

    Last but not least, we are glad to announce that the 13th EASN International Conference will be performed with the support of significant Stakeholders of the European Aviation and Space Sector. Confirmed has been so far the support of  Clean Aviation, CIRA, Dac Campania and Fraunhofer.

    We are looking forward to welcoming you to Salerno and to making the 2023 EASN International Conference one more successful, in-person gathering of the EASN Association.

    In this frame, you are cordially invited to join the 13th EASN International Conference and be part of this year’s conversation of the European Aviation & Space community!


    The Conference Chairpersons

    Prof. Liberata Guadagno

    Prof. Andreas Strohmayer

    Prof. Spiros Pantelakis

    EASN National Contact Point - Italy

    University of Salerno


    EASN Chairman

    University of Stuttgart

    EASN Honorary Chairman

    University of Patras

  • 12th EASN International Conference Highlights

    The 12th EASN International Conference on Innovation in Aviation & Space was successfully held in Barcelona - Spain, from October 18th to October 21st, 2022. It was the first EASN in-person gathering after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in March 2020.

    The EASN Association and the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya – Barcelona Tech (UPC) would like to cordially thank all the participants of the 12th EASN International Conference. Many thanks are also due to the Keynote Speakers, Session Chairs, Authors and Presenters, the International Scientific Committee and the local Organizing Committee for making this Conference a big success.

    The event included 8 Keynote Speeches, more than 400 technical presentations and feedback slots distributed in 75 sessions and workshops. Moreover, 85 Aviation & Space Projects disseminated their latest research results as well as the future trends in the respective technological fields. In total, more than 470 participants from 39 countries joined the 12th EASN International Conference, making this year’s gathering the most successful in the EASN Conference series so far.

    As its predecessors, the conference has proved to be a major European Dissemination event for research in Aviation & Space, providing a forum for EU funded project’s activities, where innovative ideas, breakthrough concepts, and disruptive technologies are presented and discussed with the aim to establish new research partnerships and possible synergies. In addition, a number of European policy development projects also found the floor to present future strategic priorities.

    During the three days gathering, highlights of the conference have represented the Keynote Speeches, which were given by distinguished personalities of the European Aviation & Space sector to update the delegates on the future Industrial trends and the European priorities with respect to the medium and long-term goals. More specifically: 

    • Mr. Christophe Bonnal, Senior expert of the CNES Directorate of Strategy and Chairman of the EUCASS Board, presented the topic "Space Debris in a nut shell - Long Term Sustainability of Space Operations".
    • Dr.-Ing. Gisela Detrell, Research Team Leader in the Institute of Space Systems of the University of Stuttgart (Germany), gave the speech entitled: “Surviving on Mars”.
    • Mr. Pablo Perez – Illana, Deputy Head of Horizon Europe Transport unit, CINEA “Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency” of the European Commission, made a presentation about “From inception to implementation of EU Aviation: Research, Innovation and Deployment with CINEA”.
    • Mr. Axel Krein, Executive Director of the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, shared his viewpoint about “Disruptive technologies: the path to take European aviation to climate neutrality”.
    • Dr. Isabelle Lacaze, Head of Technological Demonstrator at the Airbus UpNext, gave a keynote speech on "Anticipating Disruption: Protecting Businesses Through Innovation".
    • Mr. Daniel Marco Pàrraga, Director General of Innovation and Digital Economy in the Government of Catalonia, spoke about the “Catalonia is going into orbit with the NewSpace Strategy”.
    • Mr. Juan Francisco Reyes Sanchez, CDTI-E.P.E Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the National Contact Point for Aviation, Horizon Europe, presented the “European Union transnational R&i aviation funding and the Spanish support”.
    • Prof. Dr. Dieter Schmitt, Chairman of the EASN Stakeholders Advisory Board and Independent consultant for aeronautics, gave a fruitful lecture entitled: Quō vādis Aeronautics?

    Furthermore, a significant highlight of the conference were the workshops which addressed the edged technological topics of:

    • Clean Sky 2: Thematic topics & Technology Evaluator workshop on Aircraft Concepts, chaired by Dr. Jean-François Brouckaert, Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking
    • ecoDESIGN and Sustainable Productivity, chaired by Dipl.-Ing. Torsten Moll, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Germany
    • Urban Air Mobility
      Part I: Scaled Demonstrators, chaired by Dr.-Ing. Christian Eschmann, DLR, Germany
      Part II: Future Energy Sources for Aviation, chaired by Mr. Marcello Kivel Mazuy, CIRA, Italy
      Part III: Circular Aviation System, chaired by Mrs. Ligeia Paletti, NLR, the Netherlands

    Yet, it would be an omission to do not underline the significance and quality and of the presentations made in the frame of the sessions of the conference. They have provided the solid base for the success of the conference.

    The fourth day of the Conference was dedicated to technical visits throughout which the participants had the opportunity to explore some innovative and advanced technological destinations of Barcelona’s research ecosystem, such as the BSC-CNS Barcelona Supercomputing Center and the Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (IRI).

    The Proceedings of the 12th EASN International Conference will be published by IOP Publishing Ltd in the respective open-access volume of the "12th EASN International Conference on Innovation in Aviation & Space for opening New Horizons" by the Journal of Physics: Conference Series. Proceedings are an important part of the scientific record, documenting and preserving work presented at the EASN Conferences throughout the years.
    Further to the proceedings, selected full papers will be published in two international journals, following peer review : Aerospace - Open Access Journal and Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology (AEAT).

    Finally, in an effort to maintain the high-quality content and services of the EASN conference, an evaluation questionnaire was circulated among the participants to ensure that the conference continues to meet their expectations. The conference was highly rated by the the vast majority of the participants. 

    The evaluation results in detail can be found here.


  • The new BoD of the EASN Association has now been elected

    The 13th EASN General Assembly took place in Barcelona on October 18th, 2022 in the frame of the 12th EASN International Conference. During the Assembly, the new Board of Directors who will represent EASN for the next 3 years was elected.

    After the General Meeting, a meeting of the new BoD was held and the executive and non-executive duties of its members were determined to be:

    • ChairmanProf. Andreas Strohmayer, University of Stuttgart
    • Honorary Chairman: Prof. Spiros Pantelakis, University of Patras
    • Vice Chairman: Prof. Konstantinos Tserpes, University of Patras
    • Secretary General: Dr Helge Pfeiffer, KU Leuven
    • TreasurerProf. Mario Guagliano, Politecnico di Milano
    • Scientific Advisory OfficerProf. Elena Jasiuniene, Kaunas University of Technology
    • Industrial Advisory Officer: Prof. Jordi Pons Prats, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya
    • Member: Prof. Ivica Smojver, Zagreb University
    • Member: Prof. Michael Weigand, Technical University of Wien
  • EREA and EASN joint letter on the impact of energy crisis to the RTD&I projects

    European citizens, energy consuming industry and SMEs, are facing the crippling consequences of the energy crisis. The increase of cost of living and the significant fluctuations of the energy prices are becoming a daily companion of our lives, placing an uncertainty never experienced before on the entire European industrial and social ecosystem.

    The research and innovation community is facing the same problems, which is why EREA and EASN wish to engage a constructive dialogue with the European Commission and its Agencies, to find a viable way to make RTD&I projects resilient to external threats like energy price fluctuations, material scarcity and material prices.

    The EREA and EASN joint letter can be found here.

  • A Manifesto for Early Career Researchers

    In the EASN Newsletter of October 2022, we already reported about the Manifesto for Early Career Researchers. On January 10th 2023, the Manifesto was handed over to the Commission. Due to the significance of the subjects, we would like to update the EASN Newsletter readers accordingly.

    A Manifesto for Early Career Researchers: The Covid pandemic and the general uncertainty we are experiencing is negatively impacting early career researchers, whose working conditions and job precarity are unsatisfactory. It is time to act! We must motivate and support the next generation to engage in research, to build and consolidate our continent’s future, enhancement, and peace, in a healthy world.

    ISE (Initiative for Science in Europe), together with Ciéncia Viva, had launched in September 2022 a Manifesto to collect broad and robust support from key stakeholders as well as individual researchers and other supporters for early career researchers.

    The Manifesto Press Release Article can be found here.


Some views on the Academia participation in the first wave of Clean Aviation JU projects

  • The first call for proposals of the Clean Aviation JU has been completed and the first wave of projects have their Kickoff meetings in January 2023. However, and although the exact statistics have not been yet officially published, the results known are making evident that the involvement of Academia in the Clean Aviation projects is by far lower as compared to Clean Sky and Clean Sky 2 and is very limited in absolute terms.

    Upon the initiative of EASN, ten distinguished personalities of the European Aeronautical Research Community, share with the readers of the EASN Newsletter their views by answering the three following questions:

    Question 1 (Q1): Which are in your view the reasons for this very low academia participation in the Clean Aviation projects?

    Question 2 (Q2): Which are the consequences you see from the very limited academia participation in CA?

    Question 3 (Q3): Is there a need to take some measures for improving this situation? If your answer would be yes, which could be these measures?

    The above-mentioned set of questions has been addressed to:

    • Prof. Giorgio Guglieri | Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMEAS), Polytechnic of Torino and Member of the Clean Aviation JU Academic Members Forum
    • Dr. Dietrich Knoerzer | Independent aeronautics consultant and a former scientific officer for aviation research of the European Commission
    • Mr. Volker Krajenski | German Aerospace Center (DLR) and member of the EASN Stakeholders Advisory Board
    • Prof. Dimitrios Mourtzis | Director of the Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS), University of Patras and Academia representative in the Governing Board of the Clean Aviation JU
    • Assoc. Prof. Jonas Kristiansen Nøland | Coordinator of NTNU's Clean Aviation Research Initiative and Member of the Clean Aviation JU Academic Members Forum
    • Prof. Spiros Pantelakis | Professor Emeritus, University of Patras and Honorary Chairman of the EASN Association
    • Dr. Marco Protti | Vice President of Advanced Research in Leonardo Aircraft Division, Vice-Chairman of the Clean Sky JU Governing Board and ACARE Interim Co-Chair
    • Prof. Rolf Radespiel | Head of Institute of Fluid Mechanics, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Member of the Clean Aviation JU Academic Members Forum
    • Mr. Pawel Stezycki | General Director of the Łukasiewicz-Institute of Aviation, EREA Chair, Member of ASD, IFAR and ACARE Board
    • Prof. Andreas Strohmayer | Head of the Department Aircraft Design at the Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB), University of Stuttgart, Chairman of the EASN Association and Chairman of the Academic Member Forum (AMF) of Clean Aviation

    The answers provided, are following in alphabetical order.

  • Prof. Giorgio Guglieri is Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMEAS) at Polytechnic of Torino and Member of the Clean Aviation JU Academic Members Forum.

    Q1: Among the possible reasons: overconfidence of companies with respect to objectives of European research agendas … CAJu funding seen by companies as a private playground … contribution of universities seen as minor or less relevant than in CS2 in terms of TRL increase of target demonstrators and prototypes … lack of vision from CAJU governance as co-financing capabalities are over-driving the focus of project consortia weakening the role of academia as a driver of innovation.

    Q2: Lack of innovation deriving from academic contributors … projects seen as development or POC of already existing principles and concepts … universities seen as necessary presence for compliance with CAJU rules … to be kept at minimum … disappearance of academic partners from major CAJU projects unless providing some kind of outsourcing activities (that is not the purpose of academic research).

    Q3: Strong action towards GB and CAJU governance … a delegation should meet CAJU management and/or enforcing a strong common document/letter addressing a change in the CAJU call procedures (a new role for academia as the result of realignment of targets).

  • Dr. Dietrich Knoerzer is an Independent aeronautics consultant and a former scientific officer for aviation research of the European Commission.

    Q1: There is a pressure on the European Commission and the EU Framework Programme getting technological achievements that accelerate the implementation of the green economy for achieving the greenhouse gas neutral EU by 2050. Special expectations are here towards the different growing mobility sectors (road transport, aviation, maritime sector) and the related joint undertakings as CAJU. Beside the technological excellence, the impact gains importance in the evaluation process, for which the industrial core partners expect less help from the academia and therefore prefer the cooperation with industry, SME or research institutes.In addition, the lower-than-expected budget of the CAJU (UK contribution is still missing) hinders a dedicated budget allocation for upstream research contributions.

    Q2: There is a clear risk of decoupling the high-TRL technology activities from the upstream research of the academia, although the low TRL upstream research represents an important step for future technologies. Getting the academia in a separate ‘catch area’, e. g. within the collaborative research, hinders the cross-fertilisations of ideas and initiatives.

    Q3: Wherever possible, the call topics of CA should contain research and technology contributions that academic partners can perform by their skills in a cost-efficient way (e. g. software development, performance of contributing tests, research on special complementary solutions, systematic analysis of technology demonstrator results, etc.). The expected volume of such research activities could be indicated as a percentage of the technology project size. The planning of such research activities in a submitted proposal should be considered by the call evaluation.

  • Mr. Volker Krajenski is in German Aerospace Center (DLR). He is participating in the present survey in his capacity as Member of EASN’s Stakeholders Advisory Board.

    Q1: The funding mechanism drastically changed from CLEAN SKY 2 to CLEAN AVIATION. In CLEAN SKY 2 there was a dedicated funding of 40 % for the industrial leaders, while 60 % of the funding was distributed via Core Partner Calls and Calls for Proposals. Within these 60 % of funding universities had the chance to place their own proposals and get their share of the CLEAN SKY 2 funding. In CLEAN AVIATION this differentiation in funding between the industrial leaders and the other participants is no longer existing: There is one single call for proposals where in most cases the consortium has to be lead by industry. This leads to the situation that industry is now deciding on the consortia and academia has no chance to come up with own proposals. Furthermore, CLEAN AVIATION is dedicated to deliver “short term impact” which is not in the focus of academia. Thus, universities may not be the preferred partners for the CLEAN AVIATION projects lead by industry.

    Q2: A successful European “Aviation Research Eco-system” composed of industry, SMEs, RTOs and academia was established during the years by instruments like the Integrated Projects in FP6, the Level 2 projects in FP7 and CLEAN SKY 2 in Horizon 2020. This Eco-system is key to enable the aviation sector in Europe to be successful on a mid and long term perspective. With the new funding mechanism in CLEAN AVIATION and the lack of Level 2 projects in the collaborative research there is the strong risk to lose this Eco-system: CLEAN AVIATION is focusing on industry while the collaborative research with its limited funding is looking for smaller projects. This set-up will not be able to bring together all of the 4 stakeholder groups in an efficient way.

    Q3: Of course there is the need to take measures! To ensure a feasible participation of academia and keep the “Aviation Research Eco-system” alive:

    • either CLEAN AVIATION has to open its funding for research activities besides the impact driven research dominated by industry, as done with the “Thematic Topics” in CLEAN SKY 2
    • or the collaborative research on aviation in Cluster 5 has to be significantly increased to cover the gap between CLEAN AVIATION and the current collaborative research.
  • Prof. Dimitrios Mourtzis is Director of the Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS) at the University of Patras and Academia representative in the Governing Board of the Clean Aviation JU.

    Q1: The participation of Academia in the Clean Aviation projects lies on each individual Academic partner commitment and overcomes by far interest or technical root causes. There are a number of uncertainties including the exact definition of the acceptable forms of in-kind contributions that have a significant weighting in this result. Besides the afore, EU policy for high TRL outcomes, result in an reluctant approach from Academia.

    Q2: It is well documented that the success of European Green Deal for Aviation depends significantly on the Academic Research Ecosystem. By principle Academia research in low TRL and out of the box funded research.  Limitation of such outcomes will result in a rather difficult if not impossible to generate a critical outcome of new added value knowledge in aeronautics. Limited participation resulting in limited opportunities and funding for low TRL aviation research may threaten the successful implementation of CA JU as several disruptive technologies considered in CA JU need to be first further explored and matured before being integrated and implemented in a demonstrator.

    Q3: The wide European Academic Research Ecosystem, which in my view represents an excellent investment of the European taxpayer, has been proven to be an asset in the context of developing disruptive innovation and as such the situation, of Academia participation, should be definitely improved.  Europe needs to maintain and further develop the research ecosystem flourished the last two decades in Academia and Research Institutes in aeronautics, as an essential investment of the European taxpayers.  The issue of the acceptable forms of in-kind contribution is a purely political one and should be faced and treated at this level. Complimentary to the afore EC policy should become more flexible to accommodate low TRL solutions / outcomes in order to boost Academia Participation.

  • Assoc. Prof. Jonas Kristiansen Nøland is Coordinator of NTNU's Clean Aviation Research Initiative and Member of the Clean Aviation JU Academic Members Forum.

    Q1: I think a transition has happened. It does not seem to be the competencies of potential Universities that are driving the decisions to not include them, but rather the lack of the correct laboratory infrastructures for the specific projects. Universities that have lab set-up that can help the projects are easy to sell for projects since then they do not have to order expensive test set-ups themselves. My impression is that the academic or theoretical competencies are not much appreciated as buy-in to a CA project.

    Q2: I think the projects get more incremental with less participation from the Universities. There is also a weaker coupling between higher TRL developments and basic research with lower TRL developments.

    Q3: I think it should be more incentive to include some part of academia in all of the activities of the CA projects, even though they do not have to be the major contributors. As it is now, academia is participating in some activities and completely gone from other activities. It should be stronger links between the activities in the projects. Now it seems like there are activity streams where academia is not involved and some streams where academia is involved with weak connections to the core activities.

  • Prof. Spiros Pantelakis is Professor Emeritus at the University of Patras and Honorary Chairman of the EASN Association.

    Q1: In my view, the principal reason for the very low academia participation in the Clean Aviation projects lies primarily on the policy implemented by the Commission for making the goal of a climate neutral aviation by 2050 manageable. This policy can be summarized in brief as the prioritization of integrating and demonstrating currently existing disruptive technologies lying at a TRL 3 to 4 to maximize “impact” and, hence, meet the goal of climate neutral aviation on time. This prioritization has resulted to the decision of the Commission to exclude from Clean Aviation an appreciable set of activities of lower TRL, although they have been identified jointly by all Stakeholders in Aviation, namely Industry, Academia, Research Establishments and SMEs, to be necessary for achieving the common goal of climate neutrality. It is obvious that, although, currently, several Universities in Europe do not limit their research to low TRL topics, the participation of academia decreases with the increase of starting and target TRL of research.

    Q2: I am afraid that the policy outlined above, ignores the fact that some essential technologies which are needed for achieving the target of a climate neutral aviation are currently simply not existant. In addition, several of the technologies which already exist, and their maturation is considered to be essential for achieving the objectives of CA, are currently at a TRL lower than anticipated. As academia is a key contributor to the development and maturation of disruptive innovation, I am afraid that the very limited participation of academia in CA represents a threat to meeting both, the goals of Clean Aviation and the long term goal of a climate neutral aviation in 2050. I am sure I don’t need to underline the significance of industrial and application oriented research for the quality of education provided to the European aeronautical engineers. The lack of sufficient academia involvement in Clean Aviation is certainly not favorable with regards to the quality of the engineers we are educating. A last but very important consequence I would like to underline, is the threat for the European academia research ecosystem which has been established by exploiting funded aviation research performed in the frame of several subsequent frame work programs. This ecosystem has played an essential role in achieving European global leadership in aviation and has contributed appreciably to European cohesion. This well placed investment of the European tax payer can be hardly maintained. Given that the available funds for collaborative research in aviation are also extremely low in Cluster 5 of Horizon Europe, the threat of a collapsing of said ecosystem is particularly high at countries without national aviation research programs.

    Q3: I am convinced that the need for taking measures facing the above threats is urgent. I perfectly understand that dramatic changes are not possible as Clean Aviation already has its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, funds allocated for achieving the objectives set therein, as well as and its rules of operation. I also perfectly understand that the funds allocated by the European Commission are by far less as needed for achieving the challenging goals set. Yet, I am optimistic that an open and constructive dialogue with the JU and the Stakeholders therein can result to realistic measures resulting to essential improvements. Of course, we have first to re-assess the current maturity of several technologies considered for implementation in Clean Aviation in a more realistic manner. Very honestly, I cannot see what would be the inconsistency with the frame of CA outlined above by exploiting the Thematic Topics tool, which has provided excellent value for money results in Clean Sky 2, aligned with approved big integration and demonstration projects, for facing current lacks of technology or for a quick maturation of technologies being at a TRL much lower than three but at the same time being mandatory for achieving the targets of the demonstration project. This is just an example of measures we could take within the existing frame and with the existing budget. Yet, as time is running very fast, such dialogue has to be initiated now and of course the initiative for initiating, lies on the hands of the JU and the Commission.

  • Dr. Marco Protti is Vice President of Advanced Research in Leonardo Aircraft Division, Vice-Chairman of the Clean Sky JU Governing Board and ACARE Interim Co-Chair.

    Q1: There are three basic and interconnecting factors:

    a) EC decision that Clean Aviation shall target impact on mobility and emission in Europe by 2035 focusing on the two aircraft segments (SMR and regional) that together cover more than 95% of global EU aviation impact. The quite short time for implementation -given aviation timeline- and the large size of reference aircraft cause that only big industrial organizations able to manage technical integration complexity and certification/qualification as well as owners of big testing facilities are involved to quickly mature and test the new technologies at right scale. This decision puts aside the other segments where the academia participation is traditionally larger:

    - those relevant OEMs, normally smaller, often require specific expertise in frontier technical areas to academia to support the development;
    - those segments -including rotorcraft- are often for various reasons “simpler” or initial test beds for disruptive technology maturation. Again, academia is largely involved in the development of those test bed and execution.

    In summary, such EC decision moves up the TRL, complexity and size of required effort beyond the “average” academia can offer. Several examples can be derived from CA Call 1 proposals supporting this analysis

    b) EC decision on the JU partnership working framework. The JU framework asks for:

    b.1) One call per year. Despite the disruptiveness of technologies may require a specific know-how to fix or better investigate a peculiar aspect discovered during the research, the partnership cannot be modified. Therefore, partners shall owe the capability to manage any kind of result and case. This ability is only owned by large industrial organizations or a few very large academia. But this decision has two consequences:

    - It freezes the partnership at what decided at proposal set up and does not allow to adjust it to the novelties and needs as it was for CfPs actions in CS1 and CS2.
    - It causes proposals are on average quite large to include all options and features. They cannot have a quick fix in case but wait another call.

    b.2) Independent projects. Both MS and EC supported JU topics shall look for best “un-clustered” ideas that concur to the global JU scope on the basis of a common and shared planning and basic requirements. This approach works well if the partnership results will be actually integrated in a further opportunity beyond it (for instance Hydrogen Valley and SESAR implementation). On the contrary, Clean Aviation shall deliver unique flight demonstrators actually integrating the results of relevant “linked” projects in “form, fit and function”. This is a very relevant scope well beyond the former “qualitative” coordination. To deliver results compliant for “form, fit and function”, projects shall have a robust technical guidance and management close to real industrial projects and partners used to that (see also point above). Then, to reduce risks, academia is not the primary choice of proposal leaders.

    b.3) Priority only to technical areas directly contributing to Clean Aviation GHG targets and demonstrators. Integration of Clean Aviation disruptive technologies on a real aircraft requires to consider both those contributing to reduce GHG and those making possible the former ones work well in the aircraft even if they are not directly carrying in a GHG reduction. The latter are a wide and broad set of technologies including digitalization at broad (simulation, analytical tools for design and project assessment, models), structural components, integration techniques, manufacturing processes, major component layout and shape. Those are normally the elective contribution of academia able to provide a specific solution to a specific challenge. Also in this case.

    c) The poor connection between Clean Aviation and Collaborative Research in Cluster 5 and beyond. Today the envisaged crossed fertilization between Clean Aviation and Collaborative Researches is not achieved being different TRL, timing, scopes and working frames even if the topics might be similar in terms of high level concepts and key words. Collaborative Research are the elective area for academia and they could bring a relevant added value to Clean Aviation if a coordination is implemented reciprocally providing to academia a full visibility of Clean Aviation challenges.

    Q2: The limited support of the best scientific expertise available in Europe from academia in critical issues that may appear during Clean Aviation execution (see point b above). Some areas complementary yet essential to Clean Aviation technologies for low GHG may be not pursued at all (see point b.iii above) with adequate skill and resources. The limited cross-fertilization between Clean Aviation and the other opportunities where academia normally participates. Clean Aviation may not be aware of good ideas yet available or not having available the best resources dedicated to solving an emerging problem not envisaged during proposal set-up.

    Q3: Yes. Two are the key measures possible within existing Horizon Europe rules and frame:

    - To promote a close cooperation between Clean Aviation and Collaborative Research implementing both a legal working frame to enact synergies and to define topics complementary each other on GHG themes and on technical areas besides GHG but still very essential for a sustainable aircraft. The original approach of Clean Aviation SRIA should be resumed.

    - To introduce in Clean Aviation a mechanism for flexibility of partnership during execution allowing the proposals to improve their partnership and skills depending on actual needs from the on-going results.

  • Prof. Rolf Radespiel is Head of Institute of Fluid Mechanics at Technische Universität Braunschweig and Member of the Clean Aviation JU Academic Members Forum.

    Q1: It appears that the resources forseen for the individual topics of Clean Aviation CfP are relatively small in comparison to the technical challenges to meet the SRIA objectives. It appears that this has lead the industrial proposal leads to the strategy to lower the ambition in their proposals as much as possible. I have also observed that several consortia appear quite fragmented, possibly because a number of industrial players and large research establishments were initially determined as participants, without a comprehensive technical discussion at the very beginning. These two factors have resulted in little maneuvring space to achieve project proposals with high technical ambition and hence, optimal use of the expertise offered by the leading European Universities. 

    Q2: From my knowledge of the research and development capabilities distributed across Europe there are specific areas where University Institutes have a lot to offer, in terms of problem-solving ideas,  methodologies, and testing facilities. It is also obvious from the experience made in Clean Sky and Clean Sky 2 that Universities are capable of taking responsibility as work package leads or task leads. Unfortunately, these particular dimensions of the European Research Scene in the fields of aeronautics and energies technologies will not be put to an optimal usage with the very limited academia participation in CA. This will bear the severe risk that the results of CA could fall short against the ambitions raised in the SRIA document.

    Q3: Future successful proposals should demonstrate more rigorously, that they build on the comprehensive base of knowledge, methodologies, and creativity that Europe has to offer. Simply listing the Universities involved in a proposal is not sufficient, as University contributions to existing consortia often appear fragmented, minor, and without much strategic function behind them. Proposal evaluation should be extended by a  reasonable valued criterion, in how much renowned engineering researchers contribute to technically challenging project tasks, and in how far these internationally leading engineers assume responsibilitiy as WP or Task Leads in the project.

  • Mr. Pawel Stezycki is General Director of the Łukasiewicz-Institute of Aviation, EREA Chair, Member of ASD, IFAR and ACARE Board.

    Q1: Actually in my opinion there are a few:

    a) Industry is very much results oriented and want to control the IP development and distribution

    b) Academia is not ready to work fast according to the industry business needs

    c) Academia does not receive enough support on country level for many years, thus point #b above is valid and the problem will grow year after year.

    Q2: Students may not be well prepared to take the industrial job after they graduate from Academia.

    Q3: There is no simple answer. In my opinion academia should be more focused on education rather than project execution. This is an international trend that big companies found and develop their own R&D centers. Some collaboration is needed of course to ensure students are not just theoretically prepared. Governments should creat a long-term plan for how to finance Academia to ensure proper equipment and talented professors and PhDs development.

  • Prof. Andreas Strohmayer is Head of the Department Aircraft Design at the Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB), University of Stuttgart, Chairman of the EASN Association and Chairman of the Academic Member Forum (AMF) of Clean Aviation.

    Q1: In the preparation of a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for Clean Aviation it was clear from the outset that a follow-on project to Clean Sky 2 under Horizon Europe should have a strong focus on actual impact towards climate neutrality in a 2050 scenario. The aim is to demonstrate the potential of the most promising technologies by 2030 and available by 2035. By definition, such setup has industry in the lead, as the large demonstrators required to this end would be beyond the scope of research organizations and universities. Nonetheless, the CA SRIA rightly would state that “continuous and close research collaborations between the stakeholder community of academia, research centres, small-medium enterprises (SME), tier-one suppliers and aircraft manufacturers are essential”. With respect to academia, this vision has not really materialized in the formation of consortia responding to the first CA call for proposals, integrating the available competences of the European universities only at a very limited scale.

    Q2: The consequences of this limited participation are threefold: first, the CA projects now launched might not make full use of the capabilities of European academia to transfer promising low TRL technologies to demonstration. Secondly, academic research in aviation will see a significant cutback wherever no national programmes exist to step in. This will endanger the European academic research network built up over the last decades and proven to be very innovative and effective. And thirdly, as research at universities would become more or less decoupled from the CA agenda, the future generation of engineers will no longer learn first-hand as part of their tertiary education or PhD research how to deal with the issues at hand in view of the new set of technologies required to address the environmental challenge. This rapidly would become counterproductive to the commonly accepted target of shortening technology development cycles to achieve the challenging environmental goals in the given ambitious timeframe.

    Q3: A number of low TRL research activities that would support the high ambition of the CA SRIA had been shifted to the Work Programme of Horizon Europe. It will be key to establish a strong link between these low TRL topics and the CA projects. In addition, a small budget within CA reserved for maturation of essential technology bricks, similar to the Thematic Topics in Clean Sky 2, could ensure direct alimentation of the technology streams in CA. After all, it also could be fruitful to incentivise the participation of academic partners in future CA calls, ensuring the integration of the broad knowledge-base and profound methodological background of universities in the preparation of the disruptive changes required for a climate-neutral air transport system.

EASN supported projects: Latest news and achievements

  • UMA3 (Unique Materials for Advanced Aerospace Applications) launched in 2020 as a H2020 Coordination and Support Action. Its concept is based on the creation of a value chain of knowledge in the field of powder metallurgy process, additive manufacturing and high-performance PVD nanocoatings. Two summer schools have been held so far in the frame of the project. The 1st school on "Powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing" was held on May 31st-June 2nd 2022, at Fraunhofer IFAM in Bremen, Germany. In the frame of this Summer School, site visits at AIRBUS and MATERIALISE also took place. The 2nd UMA3 Summer School, on the extended topic of “Lightweight alloys and MMCs for aerospace”, was held on September 26th-28th, 2022, at the University of Patras, Greece. Visits to research Institutions and Laboratories of the University of Patras also took place.

    The Summer School was followed by a 2-days Strategic Workshop, on September 29th-30th 2022, on the topic of “Simulation of materials behavior and manufacturing processes”. On the 22nd of June 2022, a foresight workshop, entitled “Boosting international synergies in aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry: Technology trends and new business opportunities forum”, was held in León (Spain) in hybrid format. The purpose of the event was to present the strategic recommendations and a roadmap to facilitate knowledge transfer in the field of materials for aerospace and aeronautical application. Most recently, UMA3, its foremost achievements, progress and results were successfully presented with 3 dedicated presentations in the frame of the session: “European Policy Actions in the Field of Aviation & Space”, during the 12th EASN International Conference held in Barcelona, Spain from the 18th until the 21st of October 2022.

    External website link for more information: Please visit the UMA3 website for more information as well as follow the project on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn) to stay updated with its latest news and activities.

  • Large civil passenger aircraft wings are highly flexible structures that house the fuel tanks but can deform significantly when atmospheric turbulence or gust is encountered.

    The EU-funded Horizon 2020 SLOWD (SLOshing Wing Dynamics) project aims to investigate in-depth the effect of sloshing on the dynamics of the wing structures carrying fuel through the development of experimental, numerical, and analytical methods; and eventually to take advantage of the dissipative effect of sloshing to reduce loads from gusts and turbulence.

    From 17 to 19 October 2022, the SLOWD Consortium successfully conducted its M36 online progress meeting. This gathering was an excellent opportunity for the members to present their latest scientific and technical achievements, exchange information on overall progress, and agree on the next steps. 

    To date, one of the project's main achievements is a Special Issue publication devoted to the SLOWD project in the scientific journal Applied Sciences. This special issue is entitled "Liquid Slosh Damping: Experimental and Numerical Developments," and its primary goal is to highlight the recent developments, advances, and new frontiers in the framework of liquid-slosh-induced energy dissipation resulting from the SLOWD project. 

    It is also worth mentioning that the Editorial Board of Physics of Fluids selected the scientific peer-reviewed paper under the title "Energy dissipation in violent three-dimensional sloshing flows induced by high-frequency vertical accelerations” to advertise it in the weekly magazine "Scilight". Scilight gives prominence to the most exciting research across the physical sciences published in AIP Publishing Journals. The Scilight article, with the title "Modeling sloshing fuel tanks to provide oscillatory damping for airplane wings" was communicated to a broad scientific audience showcasing what is new and essential in the latest research in this field.

    Get in touch via our online communities on SLOWD official websiteLinkedInTwitter YouTubeZENODOResearchGate

  • The EU-funded FᴜᴛPʀIɴᴛ50 project still has a few months to go before it can be wrapped up, but the project has already produced a prototype hybrid-electric aircraft with up to 50 seats that it believes will be suitable for service entry as of 2035-2040.

    In October, the FᴜᴛPʀIɴᴛ50 team organized two project-dedicated sessions at the 12th EASN International Conference on "Innovation in Aviation & Space for opening New Horizons" and also took part in two more sessions, presenting some of the most interesting results of its work on hybrid-electric aircraft technology to date. All presentations from the event are available on the project’s official website.

    With a special focus on the next generation of young innovators, FᴜᴛPʀIɴᴛ50 celebrated the award ceremony of the FᴜᴛPʀIɴᴛ50 Aircraft Design Challenge that came to an end during the same event. This followed a 6-month competition among 14 promising young scientists, forming four teams. Each team consisted of a maximum of five MSc. students who presented their proposals for a hybrid-electric aircraft design. The first-place prize, a mentorship by three top Embraer executives and a free open-access journal article, went to the team from the University of Stuttgart for their aircraft design concept “HAIQU”. The jury panel was made up of highly qualified scientists and engineers with worldwide reputations in their chosen fields namely: Prof. Dr. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria), Anaïs Luisa Habermann, (Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V. and H2020-IMOTHEP project), Katharina Ertman (ADSE Consulting and Engineering) and Ricardo Reis (Embraer). On the 28th of November the contest winners met Arjan Meijer, the President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, in Amsterdam, and presented their aircraft design concept. This was a springboard for very fruitful discussions!

    The first days of 2023 brought us a new FᴜᴛPʀIɴᴛ50 article! The article, titled "FᴜᴛPʀIɴᴛ50 hopes to leave mark with hybrid-electric regional aircraft concept", is featured on Flight Global, the world's oldest continuously published aviation news magazine. You can read the full article here.

    Head over to the FᴜᴛPʀIɴᴛ50 official website to discover more details about their activities!

    Be sure to join its networks too! 

    LinkedIn | Twitter | ResearchGate | YouTube | Instagram

  • The DOMMINIO project – "Digital method for imprOved Manufacturing of next-generation MultIfuNctIOnal airframe parts" was launched on January 20, 2021, aiming to develop a methodology to ensure cost-effective, efficient, and sustainable manufacturing of high-quality multifunctional and intelligent airframe parts, based on: Robotized technologies (ATL, FFF), Advanced simulation tools, Online process & quality monitoring, Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) methods enabled by real-time data-driven fault detection.

    DOMMINIO consortium co-organized the 2nd DOMMINIO Workshop, which took place in the frame of the 12th EASN International Conference on "Innovation in Aviation & Space for opening New Horizons, on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, in Barcelona, Spain. Beyond DOMMINIOs' significant achievements in modeling, simulation, and multifunctional aerostructures, participants representing industrial and academic stakeholders presented the latest thermoplastics, additive manufacturing, and digital manufacturing advances.

    The scientific audience knows that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a moving image can accomplish a complex concept. Thus, DOMMINIOs' researchers explain their work and role in the project through a fascinating video series named "Ask the Researchers". The first video has already been launched, and the researcher Claudia Salvan from IPC (Centre Technique Industriel de la Plasturgie et des Composites) gives insights on how 3D printing can meet the requirements for aerospace applications.  More videos with the DOMMINIO experts will follow!

    Lastly, our project partner, IMDEA, hosted a reporter from the RTVE Play program Zoom Net and, through a beautiful and inspiring video, gives a glimpse into the IMDEA Materials’ role in the DOMMINIO project. The video also captures the whole incredible journey of the project and its team of researchers toward the digital method for improved manufacturing of next-generation multifunctional airframe parts.

    Discover more details on the project and its initiatives via our online communities on DOMMINIO official websiteLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube.   

  • The EuReComp project continues to make progress in its efforts to provide sustainable methods for recycling and reusing composite materials.

    To give you a taste of the project’s activities over the past months, on September 29, 2022, a video shoot for the "Education" News Program of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation took place at Rnano lab, during which the EuReComp researchers, Dionisis Semitekolos and Stavros Anagnou presented the sizing process that will be utilized by NTUA within EuReComp’s work stream on “Circularity by recycling and reclamation, including secondary raw materials”, a demonstration of the mechanical testing of composites, and the CVD reactor assembly that will be used for the exploitation of solvolysis residues. The full video including researchers’ interviews is available here.

    EuReComp also participated in the "European Researchers' Night", a Europe-wide public event, which took place in 26 countries in parallel on September 30, 2022. The event welcomed children, schools, families, students, and researchers, and EuReComp was presented via fun interactive activities between researchers and the public. Digital and printed resources on the project’s motivation and mission were distributed, and a demonstration of CFRPs recycling took place in a lab scale.

    On October 18, 2022, the 12th EASN International Conference hosted the session “MRO & Recycling activities on aeronautics’ composites parts”, chaired by Prof. C. Charitidis, EuReComp Project Coordinator. EuReComp contributed to this session, with an insightful presentation entitled, “Identification and critical assessment of circular ecosystems for aerospace composite components based on a novel R6-strategy” made by Philipp Johst representing the project partner HTWK. Among the topics discussed in this session were problem identification, the definition of various R-strategies, a Multi-Tiered-System of Recycling (MTS-R) based on six R‘s, and identification of circular ecosystems. The presentation is available on the project’s official website.

    For more information and regular updates regarding EuReComp, visit the project’s official website and social media pages: LinkedIn | Twitter

  • The dawn of 2023 could not be better for the GENEX project marked with an introductory article published in the prestigious magazine Composites World . Undoubtedly, a  very good start for a promising year!

    Time flies, given that four months have passed since the project launch, and the GENEX team has rolled up its sleeves starting with the discussions on repair operations. The involved GENEX partners, AIMEN, DLR, and ITA, have been hosted by GMI at GMI Aero facilities, in Paris, to establish the repair processes and outline the strategy that will adopt throughout the project.

    In the meantime, the dissemination and communication activities have advanced with the circulation of the GENEX leaflet and poster, in printed and digital format, while the official GENEX website has been launched by the Dissemination and Communication team of EASN-TIS. The visitors can now find out more details about the project's core concept, the key technological assets, and keep up with all the latest project news.

    Finally, on December 16, 2023, GENEX had its first clustering event with the projects funded under the same topic (i.e., HORIZON-CL5-2021-D5-01-06: Next generation digital aircraft transformation in design, manufacturing, integration, and maintenance). The event was organized by IDEKO.


    For more exciting news about GENEX also visit the social media pages (twitter & LinkedIn). Stay tuned!

Subscribe to EASN Newsletter - January 2023

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Disclaimer: EASN accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information above. This information is subject to change without notice.

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