New SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking EUR 1.6b investment to accelerate Digital European Sky

The official launch of the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking (SESAR 3 JU), backed by more than EUR1.6 billion from the EU, Eurocontrol and industrial partners between now and 2030, begins a new decade of research aimed at delivering an inclusive, resilient and sustainable Digital European Sky.

SESAR 3 JU will deliver innovative solutions across nine flagship areas aimed at accommodating a diverse range of traffic, from air taxis and delivery drones to commercial airlines and military aircraft.

The portfolio of R&I activities will be structured according to an innovation pipeline, composed of exploratory and industrial research, large-scale demonstrators and a fast-track mechanism, to accelerate market uptake of the most promising and competitive solutions.

The new partnership will also act as catalyst for speeding up the transition towards climate neutral aviation, focusing on solutions that can be implemented rapidly and that can bring environmental benefits in the short to medium term, ahead of a ramp-up in use of sustainable aviation fuels. It will also aim to introduce solutions that allow for a more flexible and resilient infrastructure that is capable of withstanding unpredictable shocks like COVID-19.

Key to the success of the SESAR 3 JU will be close cooperation with regulatory and standardisation bodies, notably the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and EUROCAE, in order to accelerate solutions into implementation, while working closely with the SESAR Deployment Manager. Also critical will be creating synergies between research and innovation activities at European and national level, which will be facilitated with the establishment of a States’ Representative Group to monitor the progress of the JU in line with the Horizon Europe and the Commission’s top priorities, including the “Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy”, “European Green Deal” and a “Europe fit for the digital age”.

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