Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking (CAJU)

Closing Date: 23/06/2022

The Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking (CAJU) is an institutionalised European Partnership dedicated to developing disruptive new aircraft technologies to transform aviation towards a sustainable and climate neutral future.

The Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking (CAJU) was officially established by Council Regulation (EU) 2021/2085 on 19 November 2021. CAJU is an institutionalised European partnership – also known as a Joint Undertaking – established under the Horizon Europe programme (2021-2027) and builds on the success of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking programme.

CAJU is the European Union’s leading research and innovation programme for transforming aviation towards a sustainable and climate neutral future. It will develop disruptive new aircraft technologies to support the European Green Deal, and climate neutrality by 2050. These technologies will deliver net greenhouse gas reductions of no less than 30% compared to 2020 state-of-the-art.

The technological and industrial readiness will allow the deployment of new aircraft incorporating these technologies no later than 2035, enabling 75% of the world’s civil aviation fleet to be replaced by 2050. The aircraft developed will enable net CO2 reductions of up to 90% when combined with the effect of sustainable ‘drop-in’ fuels, or zero CO2 emissions in flight when using hydrogen as energy source.

Work conducted through CAJU will ensure that aviation remains a safe and secure, reliable, cost-effective and efficient means of passenger and freight transportation while successfully transitioning to climate neutrality. The ambition is to significantly reduce aviation’s impact on the planet, enabling future generations to enjoy the social and economic benefits of air travel far into the future.

CAJU is built on three coordinated technology development and demonstration areas – known as ‘thrusts’ – each with targeted R&I and demonstration efforts driving the energy efficiency and the emissions reduction of future aircraft. Each thrust will develop technologies and enablers, leverage essential knowledge and capabilities, and de-risk the identified technologies and solutions, where further maturation, validation and demonstration is required to maximise impact:

Hybrid electric regional aircraft

Driving research and innovation into novel (hybrid) electrical power architectures and their integration, and maturing technologies towards the demonstration of novel configurations, on-board energy concepts, and flight control.

Ultra-efficient short and short-medium range aircraft

Addressing the short and short-medium range needs with innovative aircraft architectures, making use of highly integrated, ultra-efficient thermal propulsion systems and providing disruptive improvements in fuel efficiency. This will be essential for the transition to low/zero-emission energy sources (synthetic fuels, non-drop-in fuels such as hydrogen), which will be more energy intensive to produce, more expensive, and only available in limited quantities.

Disruptive technologies to enable hydrogen-powered aircraft

Enabling aircraft and engines to exploit the potential of hydrogen as a non-drop-in alternative zero-carbon fuel, in particular liquid hydrogen. The application of results from these areas in new aircraft will depend on performance requirements for the various aircraft categories, the technological capability and maturity, and the performance gains achievable.

The implementation of the Clean Aviation work programme is divided into two phases:

  • The first phase of the programme (Phase 1: 2022-2025) is dedicated to identifying high-potential disruptive aircraft concept(s) by assessing a broad set of potentially relevant configurations. This includes the development and maturation of the contributing technologies and key enablers supported by demonstration and validation to allow a down-selection of most promising technology options and integrated solutions.
  • The second phase of the programme (Phase 2: 2026-2031), which will largely depend on the outcome of the first phase, will focus on the most promising aircraft architectures and the integration of the selected best candidate technologies to form aircraft concepts. Key elements of this phase will be large-scale integrated aircraft component/system tests and large-scale flying demonstrator platforms to validate and demonstrate the performance of the key technologies and the targeted aircraft at realistic sizes and operational conditions.

Participation in the programme is based on the selection of proposals submitted to open, competitive calls submitted through the Funding and Tenders Portal. These calls will be open to members as well as non-members.

Funding body European Commission
Maximum value Discretionary
Reference ID S23586
Category Engineering and Physical Sciences
Natural Environment

Fund or call Fund