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Accelerating climate-neutral hydrogen-powered/electrified aviation
Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 4: Efficient, sustainable and inclusive energy use
Estimated EU contribution per project
between €3,000,000.00 and € 4,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
The proposal is expected to develop further transformative technologies, at low TRL, that have potential to be reviewed and considered for further development and demonstration beyond 2027, towards contributing to aviation climate neutrality by 2050.
Electrified aircraft propulsion is the use of electric motors to drive a subset or all of its propulsors. Hydrogen and electrified aircraft propulsion explicitly expands the scope to include hydrogen combustion propulsion.
Hydrogen as energy carrier and batteries as energy storage have the potential to eliminate aviation CO2 emissions as well as reduce non-CO2 ones. Key enabling technologies for aircraft thermal and power management have been identified as showstoppers for their integration.
The topic is open also to fundamental hydrogen research - relevant to aviation – which can be combined to any of the three expected outcomes, such as:
- better understanding of advanced materials’ compatibility and capability in aircraft hydrogen and electrified powertrain applications including effect of water vapour from hydrogen burning;
- computational materials science and innovative characterisation techniques across different length scales.
Beyond the development of transformative systems, the topic may consider the development of innovative control approaches as well as simulation tools and validation methodologies for hydrogen and electrified powertrain of a megawatt class. The development of dedicated test benches (at a TRL range within the scope of this call) should exploit synergies with the CA (cf. note).
The topic aims to exploit synergies with the Clean Aviation partnership, towards developing transformative aircraft hydrogen and electrified powertrain technologies, with an eye towards their review, selection and further development during the second phase of CA. The retained proposals, should, during the implementation phase, regularly exchange information with the Technical Committee and the Governing Board of the Clean Aviation and Clean Hydrogen partnerships respectively (in-line with articles 65 and 80 of the COM(2021) 87).
The topic is not open to hydrogen and electrified architectures, their integration and new aircraft configurations, as those are dealt exclusively in the Clean Aviation partnership (except aircraft types/missions not covered by the CA partnership). Activities should exploit synergies with the Clean Aviation (CA) partnership, with an eye towards their review, selection and further development during the second phase of CA.
To topic addresses primarily to RTOs/Academia/SMEs with guidance and support from aircraft high-tier suppliers and integrators.
Projects should collaborate with the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking on aspects that require integration of hydrogen and are expected to contribute and participate to the activities of the TRUST database and the hydrogen observatory.
Project results should focus on transformative technologies that address existing technology gaps for an aircraft hydrogen and electrified powertrain of a megawatt class. Project results are expected to contribute to one of the following expected outcomes:
- Deliver transformative aircraft energy storage, conversion and distribution technologies for hydrogen and electrified propulsion that exceed the state-of-the-art.
- Deliver novel heat dissipation, thermal management and recuperation technologies for megawatt class, that exceed the state-of-the-art.
- Deliver advanced simulation tools, validation methodologies and control approaches for an aircraft hydrogen and electrified powertrain of megawatt class.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Activities are expected to achieve TRL 2-3 by the end of the project.
For the Technology Readiness Level (TRL), the following definitions apply:
- TRL 1 — Basic principles observed
- TRL 2 — Technology concept formulated
- TRL 3 — Experimental proof of concept
- TRL 4 — Technology validated in a lab
- TRL 5 — Technology validated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
- TRL 6 — Technology demonstrated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
- TRL 7 — System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
- TRL 8 — System complete and qualified
- TRL 9 — Actual system proven in an operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies, or in space)
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.