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Paris reaffirms support for aerospace research
Numerical modelling using elsA software. © Onera

Paris reaffirms support for aerospace research

The French government has ring-fenced €135m per year in funding for civil aerospace research under the CORAC programme.

French minister of transport Elisabeth Borne has reaffirmed government support for civil aerospace research under the CORAC programme, stating that €135m per year in funding has been ring-fenced over the next five years as part of the Grand Plan d'Investissement investment plan. CORAC funding is shared 50-50 between government and industry.

The statement followed a meeting of the CORAC council on 1st December.

CORAC was created in July 2008 following the Grenelle environment forum. Designed to support research activities considered to be centres of French excellence, the programme brings together all French players in the air transport sector: manufacturers (from major primes to SMEs), airlines, airports, research centres and public authorities. Its aim is to define and implement research and technological innovation measures to help meet the environmental objectives set by Europe for 2020 in terms of noise and CO2 and NOx emissions.

CORAC has drawn up a technological roadmap for French civil aeronautics research, based on an ambitious research strategy in line with objectives for reducing the environmental footprint of air transport by 2020.

In its latest iteration, the CORAC roadmap for the coming years focuses on three main areas:

  • “The optimised-energy aircraft” to reduce aircraft energy needs. The aim is to build on the 25% reduction in emissions over the past 15 years to propose cleaner, higher-performance solutions: new configurations, ultra-high-bypass engines, electric and hybrid propulsion, increased use of composites, etc.

  • “Autonomy and connection”, to develop an autonomous, connected aircraft, along with new operating modes. The theme here is enhanced safety, at a time of increasing air traffic and the boom in unmanned aircraft, with a special focus on cybersecurity.

  • “New development and production methods”, including aerospace applications for artificial intelligence and big data technologies, working on new production processes, including cooperation between humans and robots (cobotics), and expanding the use of numerical simulation.

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