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Brussels, 5 February 2008

Clean Sky Research Programme takes off at launch forum

A new generation of greener, more environmentally efficient aircraft moved a step closer today, with the official launch of the Clean Sky JTI research programme, in Brussels. The Clean Sky TAKE-OFF Forum today formally instigated this EU wide collaborative private-public partnership, which encourages the full participation of SMEs, universities and research centres as well as leading aeronautics manufacturers, in the Clean Sky programme.

Clean Sky is one of Europe’s largest research programmes, with a budget of €1.6 billion. It represents a joint commitment from the European Union and aeronautics industry to make air travel more sustainable, by encouraging the aeronautics manufacturers to develop and produce greener products.

At the Forum the European Commission and the aeronautics industry outlined how Clean Sky will develop a series of breakthrough technologies to reduce significantly the environmental impact of air transport.

European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik, ASD President Åke Svensson and Marc Ventre, Chairman of the Clean Sky Provisional Executive Committee (PEC) all stressed the importance of the Clean Sky JTI in terms of meeting the EC’s environmental commitments, as well as conducting research leading to innovative technologies which will improve the environmental performance of the next generation of aircraft.

Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The challenges that stand before us today, such as boosting international competitiveness and tackling climate change, are common to all European countries, and research is a major part of the answer. We stand a better chance to making a difference if we work together. This is the basic logic behind the Clean Sky JTI and I am delighted that it is now underway and ready to start its work."

Åke Svensson ASD President and CEO of SAAB welcomed the formal launch of Clean Sky noting: “Clean Sky will address two simple questions. How we fly and what we fly. The Carbon footprint aviation leaves behind is seen as not being acceptable and Clean Sky is an excellent way of addressing the challenges we face in developing more sustainable aviation."

Chairman of the Clean Sky Provisional Executive Committee (PEC) and CEO of the Aerospace Propulsion Division of SAFRAN, Marc Ventre believes: "The aerospace industry is highly aware of its environmental responsibilities and over the last few decades has contributed to a drastic reduction in both emissions and noise. Today, with traffic expected to keep growing, Clean Sky is paving the way for a new major step in this ongoing process. We are fully committed to meeting these very ambitious goals."

Clean Sky current membership incorporates 86 organisations from 16 countries, 54 industries, including 20 SMEs, 15 research centres and 17 universities.

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