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What is the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking?

Clean Sky is a Joint Undertaking of the European Commission and the European aeronautics industry - part of the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It develops innovative, cutting-edge technologies aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions (particularly NOx), and noise produced by aircraft.

As these aims are achieved, Clean Sky contributes to strengthening European global leadership and competitiveness, both within and beyond the aviation sector. The Clean Sky 2 Programme is resourced with a total budget of €4 billion.

Why a public-private partnership?

Growing societal demands such as care for the environment and increased mobility - which in practical terms means boosting airline-passenger-carrying capacity to meet ever-increasing demand for business and leisure travel without detrimental ecological impact - require a combined effort from both the public and private sectors. It's simply a challenge on a scale that both sectors are unable to tackle in isolation of each other.

But by pooling resources from both the public and private sectors, Clean Sky's modus operandi as a Joint Undertaking assures that pioneering research and conceptual development programmes are underpinned with an appropriate level of fiscal nurture to sustain them throughout the duration of the extended timescales that are typical in the aviation sector – it's a long-haul process.

This MO provides a path of viability to ensure that new products can transition through research, conceptualisation, design, development, testing, certification, manufacture and introduction into service within timelines that align with the needs of the end user (passengers), the operators (airlines and air traffic control infrastructure), industry (manufacturers and maintenance entities), and society at large (those people transported by, and impacted by, the presence of the air transport system). The Clean Sky initiative enables the front end of this long and complex process to thrive.

Today, Clean Sky's scale of operation, and the diligent and selective manner in which it has grown its collaborative network of more than 600 participants from 24 countries, underpins the realization of that vision for tomorrow's air transport system.

Who can apply for the Calls for Proposals?

Any private or public organisation (SME, research establishment, university or industry) that is eligible for participation under Horizon 2020 can apply for specific topics of open Calls for Proposals. In addition to the Horizon 2020 rules, Clean Sky allows applicants to submit documents as mono-beneficiaries, specific to the programme. For more information about the application process and open calls visit our Calls section

What does it mean to be a Core Partner and how can I apply? 

Core Partners can be private and/or public organisations (SMEs, research establishments, universities or industry) that are selected following an open and transparent competitive process through Calls for Core Partners. Entities may bid either alone or jointly through clusters or consortia. They will contribute to the global management of the demonstrators and contribute financially with significant in-kind contributions.

More information can be found in our Calls section. 

What percentage of funding can my organisation receive?

Funding rates depend on the type of entity applying.

Entities falling into Horizon 2020 Innovation Action category (IA):

  • Not-for-Profit organisations foreseen to be funded at 100% of total eligible cost in accordance with the H2020 Regulation
  • For-Profit Participants (large and small) may potentially be funded at 70% of total eligible cost


Entities falling into Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Action category (RIA):

  • Not-for-Profit organisations foreseen to be funded at 100% of total eligible cost in accordance with the H2020 Regulation
  • For-Profit Participants (large and small) may potentially be funded 100% of total eligible cost
Can I receive pre-financing and how much can it be?

Pre-financing depends on the type of organisation winning the grant. In principle, Calls for Proposals winners can receive up to 100% of the average JU funding per period for actions with at least two reporting periods (e.g. 50% Pre-Financing for a two-period Grant Agreement).

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