Long-term research & innovation


Performed on behalf of the SJU and under the guidance of its Scientific Board, Workpackage E develops and maintains a programme of research activities, using expertise drawn from the European research community (R&D centres, universities, industry).

The contribution of WP-E is twofold:

  • Firstly, it is a catalyst to create a healthy European research capability for ATM and related air transport that will persist beyond the lifetime of the SESAR development programme;
  • Secondly, it makes provision and provides funding for research activities that are not currently part of the ‘mainstream’ SESAR workpackages. Such research addresses applications to become operational beyond the nominal SESAR timeframe and also allows for innovative work that may have application in the nearer term.

Research topics are described in the Thematic Programme, a public document.

Work Package E differs somewhat from the other SJU work packages in that it operates via open calls that should appeal to a wide range of contributors including academia or research organisations. Bringing WP-E activities under the auspices of the SJU will ensure coherence across the range of activities and allow for linkage into other parts of the SESAR Work Programme.

Key instruments

WP-E uses two key instruments:

  • Research networks provide a structured way to build research knowledge, competence and capability that should serve the industry in the long term. Each network comprises partners from academia, research establishments, industry etc. that share a common expertise or interest in a relevant air traffic management or transportation domain;
  • Research projects explore new ideas essentially for the long term but which may also be targeted at innovation applicable in short- and mid-terms. As with the networks, projects will be multi-partner undertakings.

The new Thematic Programme released May 2012 addresses five Research Themes:

  • Towards Higher Levels of Automation in ATM
  • Mastering Complex Systems Safely
  • System Architecture and System Design
  • Information Management, Uncertainty and Optimisation
  • Enabling Change in ATM (non-technical aspects)