New Director of EU’s Clean Sky with €4 billion budget

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Airbus veteran steps up to head EU’s CleanSky research programme

Axel Krein takes charge of €4B public-private partnership for clean aviation, at a time when its future EU funding is up in the air

New Director has private sector experience

Clean Sky has €4 billion budget

Exceeds NASA Aeronautical Research Funding

Executive Director of Clean Sky Eric Dautriat ends his 7-year assignment[1] and former vice president for research[2] at Airbus Axel Krein has taken the helm of the €4 billion public-private research project.

Dautriat had a long and stellar career with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES)(the French Government Space Agency) and two years as Quality VP of Snecma (Safran Group). Krein’s CV shows over 20 years with Airbus in a variety of impressive positions in engineering, information technology and research. That lengthy private experience should be useful at Clean Sky, where funding projects with commercial value will result in future financial support from the EU and the private partners.

Clean Sky is the largest European research program developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, Clean Sky contributes to strengthening European aero-industry collaboration, global leadership and competitiveness. Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (CSJU) [its current title] is addressing:

continuing to integrate breakthrough technologies in aircraft

demonstrating innovative configurations in aircraft, enabling changes in environmental & economic performance.

cut fuel burn & related CO2 emissions by 20-30%

cut noise levels (compared to 2014) by a similar amount.

CSJU’s work plan is broad and aggressive:

  1. Technologies are selected, developed and monitored in terms of maturity or ‘technology readiness level’. Over 100 key technologies are monitored. Those developed by Clean Sky will cover all major commercial aircraft segments.
  2. Concept aircraft – design studies that integrate technologies into a viable conceptual configuration. They cover the major future families of aircraft:

business jets

regional & large commercial aircraft


The main way of measuring and reporting environmental results involves comparing concept aircraft with existing models.

  1. Demonstration programmes include physical demonstrators that integrate several technologies at a larger ‘system’ or aircraft level and show how they work under operating conditions. This helps ascertain their potential and enables them to reach a higher level of maturity.

What should be carefully noted is that CSJU’s annual budget is €4 billion or $4, 574,120,768.22. [ budget over 7 years.
Please also note that more than half of the €4billion figure is from the private side. (The EU funding is €1755m, once again over 7 years).]

COMPARE: NASA $655m and declining






[1] Tiit Jürimäe, was interim Executive Director for the past two years

[2] Actual current title SVP and Program Director Cyber Security

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1 Comment on "New Director of EU’s Clean Sky with €4 billion budget"

  1. Please correct: €4 billion is not annual budget, but budget over 7 years.
    Please also note that more than half of the €4billion figure is from the private side. (The EU funding is €1755m, once again over 7 years).

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