Na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al net­work­ing

DLR aeronautics research is part of a worldwide network
DLR aero­nau­tics re­search is em­bed­ded in na­tion­al, Eu­ro­pean and glob­al net­works. To­geth­er with gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties and part­ners from in­dus­try and sci­en­tif­ic re­search, and in­volv­ing ex­ten­sive co­op­er­a­tion with trade as­so­ci­a­tions and in­ter­est groups, DLR is work­ing to help shape the air trans­port sys­tem of the fu­ture. It plays a lead­ing role in many ar­eas of aero­nau­tics re­search, both na­tion­al­ly and in­ter­na­tion­al­ly.

Scientific progress through national and international networking

DLR aeronautics research is networked at national, European and global levels. Together with government representatives as well as partners from industry and research, and involving extensive cooperation with trade associations and interest groups, DLR is working to help shape the air transport system of the future. It plays a leading role in many areas of aeronautics research, both nationally and internationally.

Working with government and regulatory authorities

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, DLR is implementing the national aeronautics research programme in cooperation with other federal ministries. It supports national supervisory bodies in the development of standards, and brings this commitment to a European level in cooperation with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); at the global level, it contributes to the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Clean Sky 2

With funding of four billion euro, Clean Sky 2 is the largest European aeronautics research programme to date. Over a period of ten years, more than 200 partners from industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, large-scale research bodies and universities are working together to research new technologies for more environment friendly aircraft. The programme will examine both flying demonstrators, such as a converted Airbus A340, and aircraft components such as engines, structural parts and systems.

DLR is involved in almost all areas of Clean Sky 2 research, working both to improve passenger aircraft and to develop innovative helicopters. This includes work on quieter and more efficient propulsion systems, lighter and more cost-effective fuselage and wing components, and innovative flight deck systems. In addition, DLR leads the Technology Evaluator, which evaluates the technologies developed in Clean Sky 2 with regard to their potential for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides and also noise, but also considers economic efficiency.


EREA, the Association of European Research Establishments in Aeronautics, was founded in 1994 to intensify internal cooperation and coordination as well as to improve the shared representation of interests for European institutions and partners. For internal cooperation, the EREA Future Sky Joint Research Initiative was set up a few years ago, with the aim of shaping the calls for proposal under the European Framework Program for Research and Innovation (currently Horizon 2020) and thus improving the chances of EREA applications being successful. DLR is not only a co-founder of EREA but also an important member, bringing its technologies and research approaches to joint European research projects under the umbrella of EREA.


ACARE, the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and innovation in Europe, was founded in 2001 as a forum for all aeronautical research stakeholders, including manufacturing industry, research institutions, universities, airlines, airports, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), regulators and member states. Its task is to set up or further develop the strategic aeronautics research and innovation agenda and support its implementation. 

ACARE is an important advisory body to, among others, public authorities such as member state governments and the European Commission. DLR is represented in the ACARE Chair Team as well as in the various working groups and thus plays an active role in shaping the strategic research and innovation agenda. This agenda forms the basis for national and European aeronautics research programmes, in which DLR successfully participates.


Internationally, DLR plays a leading role in the International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR), with partners such as NASA and JAXA. IFAR is the only global network that brings together government aeronautics research facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. IFAR aims to find solutions to the global challenges facing the aviation industry through aeronautical research, placing the national expertise
of its members in an international context and initiating multilateral cooperation between members or with external partners. DLR is the founder, initiator or coordinator of various IFAR activities.

SESAR 2020

As coordinator of the AT-One Consortium, DLR is a member of the EU research programme Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research – SESAR 2020. The aim of SESAR 2020 is to develop new systems for the unification of European airspace, making them ready for the market, and to meet the challenges of increasing air traffic. DLR is researching innovative approaches to a future air traffic system in Europe. For this purpose, for example, plans are being made for an airspace which functions without the current usual division into sectors, and for the remote monitoring of one or more small airports from a virtual tower.

Clean Sky 2 Technology Evaluator

In 2014, the successful research cooperation between industrial companies and research institutes begun in Clean Sky (2008–2017) extended its ambitious activities with the Clean Sky 2 research framework programme.

Background article