Walloon INnovations for Green Skies
Objective of the project
WINGS, the technological innovation partnership for the health crisis in the aeronautic sector, brings together 19 partners with an R&D project budget of €112 million for a three-year planned duration
Launched at the beginning of November 2020, WINGS (Walloon Innovations for Green Skies) is a technological innovation partnership project financed mainly by Wallonia for a period of three years. 19 partners will thus join their R&D forces around the ecological and digital transition of the aeronautical sector in order to actively contribute to the European Green Deal. The WINGS project has a budget of 112 million euros. The Walloon aerospace competitiveness cluster Skywin supports the Walloon administration in its steering activity.
With the Covid-19 crisis, which followed the suspension of the Boeing 737 Max, the aeronautics industry has been going through a turbulent period for several months. The recovery should be long and gradual, with little hope of returning to levels close to those of 2019 before the end of 2023, or even 2024. An opportunity that Wallonia has seized to gather the available forces and weave its position on the decarbonised aircraft in a structured manner. Indeed, Walloon aeronautics players are encountering real short-term difficulties in financing their research activities. The risks of relocation of activity and obsolescence of our products are very important. Moreover, the environmental challenges of the sector can no longer be postponed.
Wallonia has a leading technological industry in the field of aeronautics. The ambition of the WINGS project is to allow the Walloon aeronautical industries to pursue their R&D efforts in order to preserve or improve their positioning in relation to the competition on the one hand, and on the other hand to actively participate in the ambitious objective of a low-carbon aircraft entering into service in 2035, followed by an equally radical evolution, carbon neutrality for 2050, as provided for by the Paris Agreement.
Beyond these market and environmental challenges, the financing of research also aims to strengthen our know-how and, consequently, maintain the 5,500 or so direct jobs that the sector represents in Wallonia. The entire production chain is concerned, from raw materials to the recycling of used parts, including design systems, ground services and on-board technologies.
The three major Walloon companies in the aeronautics sector, Safran Aero Boosters (which will be the coordinating company for the project), Sonaca and Thales Belgium, will collaborate on various research themes with the research centres, Cenaero, von Karman Institute, CRM, Materia Nova, Sirris, Cetic and Multitel and with a panel of SMEs active in aeronautics, GDTech, Any-Shape, Calyos, Technochim, V2i, Machinesight, MSC Software Belgium, Rovitech and Deltatec, on 6 themes :
– Communication systems,
– Materials and processes,
– Digitalisation and digital simulation,
– Industry 4.0,
Safran Aero Boosters is in charge of the WINGS project coordination. The Skywin cluster, which originated these themes in one of its working groups, provides support for the project, supports the Walloon administration in its steering activity and will ensure that collaboration between the partners is encouraged and optimised and that the results are disseminated. The WINGS project is therefore a great opportunity for the Walloon aeronautical sector to be in the lead of a more environmentally friendly European aeronautical industry.
Contribution of Multitel
Multitel brings its skills in fibre optic sensor integration, 3D micromachining, infrared spectroscopy, audio signal processing and Industry 4.0 machine vision.