Europe needs to spend more money on aerospace research and development (R&D) not only to ensure it keeps up with the US but to avoid losing research activities to other countries.

These are two of the many conclusions reached by the European Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research (ACARE), a high level initiative to set out the objectives for a pan-European R&D effort launched at last year's Paris airshow.

"Without higher R&D investments today and a consistent approach at European Union level, we compromise the sector's future," said EU research commissioner Philippe Busquin at Farnborough.

"In a global and highly competitive environment, European enterprise cannot make it without joining forces with the EU and member states."


The aim is to pool resources to reach a critical mass, he says.

In its soon to be launched 6th Research Framework Programme – which runs from 2002-6 – the EU will allocate E1 billion ($1 billion) to aerospace-related research.

In its strategic research agenda, to be published in the autumn, ACARES will set out how much more R&D money should be found and where it could come from.

ACARES chairman Walter Kröll said: "The gap should not be impassable," and will be filled by the EU, national programmes, and activities financed by companies and R&D institutions.

"If R&D is not better funded in Europe it will induce companies to move their research labs to other countries," said Snecma chairman Jean-Paul Béchat.

"It would be a pity if tomorrow we do our research in the US or India or everywhere else rather than Europe."

Source: Flight Daily News