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First FP7 aeronautics projects announced

By Redazione

Some 36 projects have been selected for funding following the first aeronautics and air transport call for proposals under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The projects will seek to make
air transport greener, safer and more secure, and to improve cost efficiency in aeronautics.

The projects, selected following an evaluation by independent experts, are set to receive ?217 million between them, once final contract negotiations have been concluded.

‘Research holds the key to many of the challenges we face in today’s world, including how to make air transport safer, greener, quieter and more efficient,’ said EU Science and Research
Commissioner Janez Potocnik. ‘The projects selected from the latest round of proposals all address one or other of these vital issues.’

The response rate to this first call was high, with the Commission receiving nearly 200 proposals. There was a particularly high interest from teams in Central and Eastern Europe and third
countries.

Half of the ?217 million available will go to four large projects. The rest will be divided between 26 collaborative research projects and six coordination and support actions aimed at
stimulating the participation of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as a number of Member States.

The four large projects have the dual goals of reinforcing Europe’s industrial leadership and responding to environmental and safety concerns. They are:

– DREAM (Validation of Radical Engine Architecture Systems) – a 47-partner project involving 13 countries and led by Rolls Royce. The project will develop new engine concepts based on open
contra-rotating rotors. The target is to reduce CO2 emissions by 7%, and noise by three decibels. DREAM will also develop specifications for alternative fuels, and assess and test future
potential fuels.

– MAAXIMUS (More Affordable Aircraft Structure through Extended, Integrated and Mature Numerical Sizing). This project involves 58 partners from 18 countries and is led by Airbus. The aim is to
improve the composition and design of fuselages in order to cut assembly time by half and reduce structural weight by 10%, thus reducing CO2 emissions.

– HIRF SE (High Intensity Radiated Field Synthetic Environment) gathers 44 partners from 11 countries and is coordinated by Alenia. The team will create simulators to test the reaction of new
aircraft to electromagnetic interference. The increased use of composite materials in aircraft construction has made more research in this area a priority.

– SCARLETT, led by Thales, will develop new and advanced modular avionics platforms for a range of aircraft types.

Final project and budget details are subject to the signature of contracts. The first projects should get underway in January 2008.

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