On 19 November 2021, EU Member States committed to launch the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking under the Horizon Europe framework. It is one of nine new European partnerships to help the EU deliver on its Green Deal. In our latest blog, we shine a light on how this promising partnership will accelerate climate-neutral aviation by 2050.
Reducing the ecological footprint of aviation
The Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking (CA-JU) will run from 2021-2031 and boast a budget of EUR 4.1 billion. EUR 1.7 billion will be funded by the EU, while the remaining part will be covered by aviation industry stakeholders. The mission of the CA-JU is to reduce aviation’s ecological footprint by accelerating the development and deployment of climate-neutral aviation technologies. This new European partnership builds on the experience gained from the Clean Sky and Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertakings. However, it will go beyond Clean Sky’s ambitions by focusing on producing breakthrough demonstrators.
Delivering disruptive technologies for clean aviation
Moreover, the CA-JU strives to develop disruptive new aircraft technologies to help the EU achieve climate neutrality by 2050. These technologies will enable the deployment of new aircraft with 30 to 50 percent lower emissions than today’s aircraft by 2035. In addition to this, it should lead to the replacement of 75% of the world’s civil aviation fleet by 2050. When combined with the use of sustainable fuels, the aircraft developed will enable net CO2 reductions of up to 90%. The EU countries also hope that zero CO2 emissions could be achieved in flight when using hydrogen as energy source.
Advancing European aviation research & innovation capacity
Furthermore, the CA-JU aims to accelerate and optimize research and innovation (R&I) processes in aeronautics. This should be achieved by expanding and fostering integration of climate-neutral aviation R&I value chains. This will involve especially academia, research organizations, industry and SMEs. Additionally, the new European partnership will foster the uptake of industry-related skills across the value chains. Finally, it also seeks to improve the competitiveness of the EU aviation industry vis-à-vis global competitors such as Boeing (USA) and Comac (China).
SUSTAINair contribution to the new European partnership
Circular aviation is a crucial part of European efforts to make the sector climate-neutral by 2050. By being at the forefront of applying circular economy principles to aviation and aerospace value chains, SUSTAINair is making a key contribution to the ambitious objectives of the CA-JU. Specifically, SUSTAINair uses the 4 R’s of circular economy – redesign, repair, reuse and recycle – to exploit the full potential of high-quality materials for the sector. Thereby, SUSTAINair improves the sustainability and cleanliness of the design, manufacturing, operations and end-of-life phases of aircraft. This includes:
- Circular design of individual components and joining technologies for airframe construction
- Real-time structural health monitoring of materials and joints during operations
- Improved maintenance and repair technologies to extend aircraft life time
- Enhanced dismantling for improved recovery of high-quality recycling materials
Join the Scientific Advisory Body of the CA-JU
The CA-JU has just launched a call for experts for its Scientific Advisory Body. Candidates should have a University degree in a relevant scientific area (preferably at post-graduate level), and at least 15 years of professional experience and competence in a field relevant to the challenge of significantly reducing aviation’s climate impact.