Flying has become increasingly common and plays a significant role in societies and economies. Not only does it connect people and cultures, it contributes to our current level of welfare. This doesn’t come without a price. To continue to enjoy the benefits of aviation for generations to come, whilst mitigating its negative footprint, innovation is needed. Therefore, Royal NLR joins Europe’s leading partnerships on aircraft development, ATM and hydrogen.

By approving the Single Basic Act, the European legislature has given its green light to the European Partnerships under EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe. This package includes Clean Aviation, SESAR3, and Clean Hydrogen. These partnerships are an important instrument in achieving climate neutrality in 2050, an ambition shared by the aviation industry.

Strong commitment
NLR embraces the ambition set by the European Union. According to CEO Michel Peters there is no more discussion about this. Simply put: the sector has to be climate neutral by 2050. To put its money where its mouth is, NLR commits itself strongly to this goal by becoming a founding member of the partnerships Clean Aviation and SESAR3. In addition, by joining the Hydrogen Europe Research association, one of two private members of the Clean Hydrogen partnership, NLR commits itself to developing hydrogen as a key building block towards climate neutral aviation.

Clean Aviation
The Clean Aviation partnership is world’s most ambitious research and innovation agenda for sustainable aviation, bringing together a vast array of partners. Clean Aviation is the third of its kind, succeeding the well-known Clean Sky 2 partnership. The programme will focus on the next generation, ultra-efficient Small-Medium Range aircraft, Hybrid-Electric regional aircraft as well as technology for enabling hydrogen powered aircraft. Aligned with its strategy, it is no wonder that NLR has been active from the start.

The Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme aims to deliver an inclusive, and more sustainable digital European sky by modernising and harmonising Europe’s air traffic management (ATM). This includes integrating safely a diverse range of new aerial vehicles alongside conventional, manned aircraft. Being one of Europe’s leading ATM research and technology organisations, NLR will play a key role in delivering this Digital European Sky. NLR’s strategic ambition is to work together with partners from the Netherlands and abroad to ensure safe, competitive and sustainable operations of manned and unmanned flight. Founding membership of SESAR3 reinforces this ambition by seeking partnership with Europe’s prime ATM ecosystem.

Clean Hydrogen
All over the world, both public authorities and industries are committing to hydrogen as a key building block for a more sustainable economy. As concluded in the Destination 2050 study, hydrogen plays a key role in the path towards climate neutral aviation as well. To develop the technologies for this, the European hydrogen community comes together in the Clean Hydrogen partnership. Covering the full spectrum from production to distribution, storage and application, the cross sectoral nature of this partnership is a main motivation for NLR to join this ecosystem. There is much to be learned from other sectors and vice versa. NLR strongly believes that only through such cross sectoral cooperation we can find our optimal path towards climate neutrality.

Innovation through cooperation
The common denominator in NLR’s activities in these partnerships is cooperation and partnership. It is NLR’s mission to help the Dutch and European industry innovate by developing knowledge and by providing the necessary expertise and facilities to bring innovations to the market.

Interested in joining NLR in one of these partnerships? Please contact Tim Buiting at

See the following links for additional information: