In 2001, the Group of Personalities, initiated by EC Commissioner Philippe Busquin, presented their Vision 2020 on the future of air transport and the resulting challenges for European research. This report formed the impetus for founding the Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe (ACARE), which published the Strategic Research Agendas SRA 1 (2002), SRA 2 (2004) and a 2008 Addendum to SRA 2.
In addition, a new "Vision" aiming beyond 2030 was projected. This Vision, in combination with the findings of evaluation and assessment projects such as MEFISTO and AGAPE, formed the basis upon which a new roadmap for European research would be developed.
Aim of the project was to provide guiding support in the development of a strategic agenda for research in Europe for a 2030+ horizon. In particular, it would initiate and execute the involvement and consultation of all major stakeholders of this sector for the development of the agenda.
The new agenda had to be the focus for future aeronautics and air transport research, on European level as well as for national and industrial programmes. The aim was to ensure that, in times of unpredicted challenges and limited resources, mobility needs of European citizens will be satisfied safely and more sustainably, and that Europe will continue to maintain its leading position in a technology sector of strategic and commercial importance and political prestige.
Development of new targets and roadmaps serving as a new guide for:
- Industrial research actions,
- Member State research efforts,
- Joint programming of research where appropriate,
- The new EC framework programme "Horizon 2020".
The NEARS team worked closely with ACARE to oversee, guide, coordinate and assist the activities. NEARS supported the whole process of creating SRIA through the following four consecutive steps.
- Carrying out the necessary preparations;
- The project enabled Working Groups to address the different goals set by Fligthpath 2050;
- It assembled the different views and contributions from these Working Groups and drafted the new SRA;
- The NEARS project took care of the final editing, design and printing of the new report.
The expected impact of this project is to realise a vision for the aeronautics and air transport sector and to be able to influence definition of research in the Framework Programmes, national programmes, and industrial programmes. The product of the project was to be a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) with a pan-European reach - a cross-stakeholder agenda that is accepted by stakeholders and by funding agencies both European and National as an appropriate route to realise Flightpath 2050.
The project will also have an impact upon the ability of the stakeholder enterprises to make best use of their respective competences by collaborating with other enterprises, by focusing upon the agreed priorities, and by assessing the risks and rewards present within the agreed strategic research agenda. It will also enhance these abilities by providing a common structure of projects, processes and procedures that will continue the more unified approach to research that has been initiated by the European Commission (EC).
Innovating for the future: A European Transport Research and Innovation Policy.