As a global partner for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, we create resilient infrastructure that empowers communities. We are committed to driving innovation and pursuing disruptive concepts to bring solutions to societal challenges.
Airbus spends over €3 billion annually on research and development and holds approximately 37,000 patents worldwide.
An important focus for Airbus is helping to foster innovation within developing markets. Our business accelerator Biz Lab is open to disruptive ideas within and outside the aerospace ecosystem and is attracting start-ups from across the world.
Bizlab’s Indian site, in Bengaluru, has worked with numerous start-ups from India and around the world, and will also be launching a community of B2B start-ups in areas such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and robotics.
In Africa, Airbus’ #africa4future initiative aims to unlock the existing innovative and creative spirit on the Sub-Saharan African continent. Our aim is to develop products and services for and with African people based on their needs. To this end, we are working with local partners to identify high-potential start-ups to create new services and products within the fields of aero-mobility.
Airbus leads or participates in a variety of European and international partnerships and initiatives to improve the sustainability of the aerospace industry.
We supported the creation of the IAEG (International Aerospace Environmental Group), which aims at harmonising the response of the industry to existing and emerging environmental regulations, as well as aligning aerospace environmental standards.
We also lead or participate in various European and international environmental working groups at International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) and Aerospace Defence Security (ADS), among others. Airbus plays a leading role in the European Union’s Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative to develop new innovations with environmental improvements.
Our Helicopters division, for example, is leading the design of LifeRCraft (Low Impact, Fast & Efficient RotorCraft), a compound rotorcraft which combines the speed and efficiency of a plane with the hovering capabilities of a helicopter. We are also leading the BLADE project, which aims to reduce wing friction and thus lower CO2 emissions.
We play a major role in the SESAR (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) initiative, which aims to shape the future of air transportation and drive sustainable growth around the world by developing solutions for air traffic management. Here we are contributing to the improvement of air traffic management, which could reduce CO2 emissions by 10% per flight.
Airbus is partnering with British Airways, Heathrow Airport and NATS (the main air navigation service provider in the UK) to study and develop operational procedures to reduce the number of people affected by noise around London’s Heathrow. This project utilises the capabilities of the A380, the quietest aircraft of its size.
Measurement of Ozone by Airbus in-service Aircraft (MOZAIC)
The MOZAIC programme highlights our strong commitment to advancing scientific knowledge on climate research. Seven Airbus widebody aircraft equipped with measurement devices are now flying internationally every day, with the support of the programme’s associated airlines: Lufthansa, China Airlines, Air France, Iberia, Cathay Pacific and Air Namibia. The measurement devices capture key aircraft parameters and atmospheric data such as concentrations in ozone, water vapour and carbon monoxide.
Developing sustainable fuels
We are heavily involved in the ITAKA European initiative (Initiative Towards Sustainable Kerosene for Aviation), which aims to speed up the commercialisation of aviation biofuels in Europe.
Airbus was the first manufacturer to offer customers the option of delivering new aircraft with a blend of sustainable fuel through a programme developed in association with Air Total, which has installed the first ever sustainable biofuel station adjacent to the Airbus delivery centre in Toulouse. The option will also be introduced at our sites in Hamburg, Mobile and Tianjin.
Urban air mobility
By 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities. To address the rising concerns of traffic congestion, Airbus is harnessing its experience to develop solutions that will enable commuters and travellers to navigate our cities by air.
Development of electric and hybrid-electric propulsion will enable quieter and cleaner commercial aircraft, opening up a range of new markets and possibilities. We have formed a partnership with Rolls-Royce and Siemens to develop the E-Fan X hybrid-electric flight demonstrator by 2020.