European research panel targets affordability, ecology, safety and efficiency The newly launched Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE), which met in Paris for the first time on 19 June, has identified four topics it intends to explore in building a strategic research agenda (SRA).

The 34-member panel has been formed by the European Commission (EC) to develop the SRA under its "Vision 2020" effort to move Europe's aeronautics industry forward. ACARE consists of high-level representatives from the European Union (EU) member states, industry, stakeholders such as airlines and airports, research establishments and regulators, and the EC.

Chaired by Walter Kroll, chairman of the German DLR aerospace centre, the panelists targeted the following areas of focus:

quality and affordability of aeronautics cleaner, quieter air transport safer skies efficient air transport.

An EC source says diversity was sought for ACARE members as "We don't want this to be purely an industry lobbying exercise saying: 'We want more money.' They have to come up with priorities, and priorities mean blood on the carpet."

The first stage of developing the SRA must be setting research and development (R&D) priorities, he says, and the second stage will be "to see where the money will come from. Substance first, then the money, not the other way around".

The EC intends that projects that ultimately result from the SRA will benefit from what the source calls "better transparency and a complementary approach" in funding so that member states are contributing financially. EU money, he says, is the "glue to help them co-operate". He emphasises that the SRA is not specifically linked to developing proposals on the EU-funded Sixth Framework Programme for 2002-2006 which aims to finance a variety of R&D projects.

The panel wants to deliver their first SRA in a year.

Source: Flight International