Gauging the ENvironmEntal Sustainability of electrIc aircraft Systems

Project Details


The aviation sector plays a vital role in a global context where modern societies need to move towards environmental sustainability. Transition to reduce its environmental footprint (i.e., impacts on ecosystems, human health, and natural resources) stemming from activities in the entire value chain of aircraft has become high on political and industrial agenda. This transition must go hand in hand with the technological transformation of aircraft systems, moving away from fossil-based fuels to alternative energy sources, like biofuels, hydrogen, or electricity via batteries.

Project GENESIS, funded by the EU Commission under the Clean Sky 2 Programme, aims to tackle these challenges. GENESIS stands for “Gauging the environmental sustainability of electric aircraft systems”. Its primary purpose is to develop a technology and sustainability roadmap to support the ambitions of the European aviation industry for transitioning towards environmentally sustainable and competitive electric and hybrid aircraft systems. Several powertrain technology alternatives are explored, including conventional batteries, fuel cells, and hybrid combinations, all with three-time perspectives over the period 2020-2050.
Organized around the multidisciplinary and complementary expertise of its consortium members, GENESIS has the following key objectives (each reflecting the three technical work packages of GENESIS):
1. Develop a conceptual design for all-electric and hybrid 50 PAX regional class aircraft associated with top-level aircraft requirements and scenarios.
2. Perform technology foresight analyses on crucial elements of the aircraft system, focusing on the powertrain architecture and energy storage alternatives.
3. Build life cycle inventories for each relevant technology process within the aircraft life cycle (from resource extraction, through manufacturing and use, up to end-of-life), and use them to perform prospective life cycle assessments of future aircraft system configurations and scenarios.

Project structure
GENESIS has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101007968. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Clean Sky 2 JU members other than the Union.
The GENESIS project consortium, led by Technical University of Denmark (project coordinator), consists of nine partners from industry and academia, complemented with a subcontractor providing airport-related expertise:
- Technical University of Denmark (coordinator)
- University of Naples Federico II – Italy
- Delft University of Technology – The Netherlands
- FAU Erlangen - Nuremberg - Chair of Power Electronics – Germany
- Bern University of Applied Sciences – Switzerland
- SmartUp Engineering s.r.l. – Italy
- Mahytec – FranceAccurec Recycling GmbH – Germany
- Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH – Germany
- The Rotterdam-The Hague Innovation Airport – The Netherlands (subcontractor)
Short titleGENESIS
Effective start/end date01/02/202131/07/2023

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • University of Naples Federico II (Project partner)
  • Delft University of Technology (Project partner)
  • Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (Project partner)
  • Bern University of Applied Sciences (Project partner)
  • SmartUp Engineering S.r.l. (Project partner)
  • Mahytec (Project partner)
  • ACCUREC-Recycling GmbH (Project partner)
  • Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH (Project partner)
  • Rotterdam -The Hague Innovation Airport (Project partner)

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • aircraft
  • sustainability
  • Foresight
  • fuel cell


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