“A distinctive element of our approach to research has always been to combine the industrial footprint and research, focusing on the product, with the innovative approach of Universities, Research Centers and SMEs: the consolidation of our network and its extension to new European participants, including GE Aviation teams, will further strengthen this approach, creating the only collaborative innovation network of its kind, with skills specific to the European landscape and able to meet the many complex challenges facing the aeronautics industry with regards to Climate Neutrality."
The words of Enrico Casale, EU Programs & Research Network Leader - Advanced Technology Operations in Avio Aero, express satisfaction for the creation of the EU Technology Development Cluster, the innovative continental collaboration model made up of Avio Aero, European affiliates of GE Aviation, R&D centers, Universities and SMEs cooperating on common projects of sustainable innovation.
This European network involves 25 members, including the Politecnico di Torino, the Politecnico di Milano and the Politecnico di Bari, the Federico II of Naples and highly respected universities of Poland and the Czech Republic, and represents an extension of the Technology Development Community (TDC), launched in 2016 in the presence of the then Minister of Education, University and Research Stefania Giannini who sponsored the announcement. The TDCs connected Avio Aero to a pool of the 7 top Italian universities and polytechnic schools.
Over the following several years, the task of consolidation and updating, carried out by the various participants focused on multiple disciplines, products and processes, has not only facilitated communication within individual communities - providing opportunities for comparison and exchange open to the entire network - it has also attracted and brought together new participants through annual workshops on key issues. This is the case of the last workshop that laid the foundations of the expansion agreement, which was formalized only recently.
"The key technologies that will characterize the next generations of aeronautical products range from electrification or hybridization and the development of new ultra-efficient engine architectures, up to the qualification for the use of bio-fuels or alternative fuel sources, such as hydrogen, with zero emissions," continued Casale. "These are therefore highly complex issues which, together with huge economic resources, also require structure and, above all, expert and diverse minds, as much as talent".
What better environment than that of a melting pot of young researchers who have the awareness as well as the ability to work side by side with experienced engineering technologists from the aeronautics industry on the development of new eco-friendly products.
"The entire aeronautics sector is facing an unprecedented situation that could act as an accelerator for investments in sustainable technologies: mobility will be a pivotal aspect of the future"
The expansion of the network comes at a critical time for the whole world, but perhaps it is precisely this coincidence that highlights the opportunity presented by this new milestone. "The entire aeronautics sector is facing an unprecedented situation that, while it puts the entire supply chain in great difficulty today, could act as an accelerator for investment in sustainable technologies with regard to Clean Aviation: mobility is and will be a pivotal aspect of our way of life in the future and I am confident that our industry will soon recover and be ready to develop new technologically revolutionary products," said Casale.
Avio Aero, together with the European teams of GE Aviation, is preparing to play a key role in the ambitious challenges that will characterize tomorrow's aviation, by continuing to invest in innovation and preparing to play a central role in the next European partnership, Clean Aviation. The support of the research network and scientific communities will be essential to facing these challenges in the best possible way, by consolidating a collaborative approach that has always characterized the company in research and innovation