Aircraft emissions represent only 3% of greenhouse gases, but are growing fast and are perceived by the public as a problem. Therefore the European Commission and seven major European aircraft manufacturers have launched a new private-public partnership called Clean Sky.
Click here to access Clean Sky website.
The goals of the partnership, whose budget is 1.6Bn€, are to reduce emissions (halve CO2 and reduce NOx by 80% by 2020) and to halve the external noise related to air travel by 2020.
The Clean Sky programme is structured in six technical areas called Integrated Technology Demonstrators (ITDs). As the name suggests ITDs will prove innovative technologies are ready for use in practice. The 6 ITDs are:
• The SMART fixed wing aircraft ITD will focus on how planes can best adapt their shape to save energy and reduce noise
• The Green Regional Aircraft ITD will develop planes that are economical for shorter distances
• Green Rotorcraft ITD will deliver innovative rotor blades and novel turbine engine installation
• The Sustainable and Green Engine ITD intends to integrate technologies for low noise, low weight, low pressure systems including open rotors
• The Systems for Green Operations ITD will take a holistic view of aircraft to improve the overall design
• The Eco-Design ITD will ensure the full life cycle of materials and components are considered across all ITDs
Each of these ITDs will be undertaken by groups of organisations. The Swiss company RUAG is participating as an associate in two ITDs (Smart Wing and Eco-Design). There are still plenty of opportunities to participate in Clean Sky. As Richard Parker, Director of R&T at Rolls-Royce put it at the Clean Sky launch event “expect 1000s of SMEs to participate”. Whilst the ITD Leaders and around 70 associates are now determined, it is expected that the number of associates will double. Furthermore, calls are expected later in 2008 to participate as a partner or subcontractor via Calls for Proposal (CfP) and Calls for Tender (CfT) respectively. CfPs will require some investment from the Partner as well as a technological contribution. The resulting intellectual property (IP) will be available to the programme. CfTs on the other hand will require no transfer of IP and will require the Subcontractor to execute a detailed activity where all the technical content is defined.
Whilst it is anticipated that CfTs will be the most attractive for individual SMEs, participation is also encouraged as a cluster. Clusters are groups of organisations that participate as an associate, partner or subcontractor. “Without these clusters, SMEs could not participate … 2 clusters are [already] led by SMEs” as Hans Bouland, CEO Stork Aerospace mentioned at the Clean Sky launch event.
To find out more about participation, there are a number of sources including the Clean Sky website.