Actors in the Kvarken region have been granted funding for a major development project regarding electric aviation – FAIR, Finding Innovations to Accelerate Implementation of Electric Regional Aviation. The funding was granted via the Interreg Botnia-Atlantica programme.
– There weren’t many who believed in us when we years ago launched the Kvarken ferry project, but now the ferry is being constructed at the dockyard in Rauma, Finland. As we are now about to start our first electric aviation project, it gives small airports confidence in the future, strengthens the region’s profile within the energy and electricity businesses and binds together a strategic partnership of unique width and variety. Ultimately, it is all about generating good prospects for investments and new jobs for future generations, says Mr Joakim Strand, MP, Chairman of Vaasa City Council and Chairman of the Kvarken Council.
The FAIR project starts immediately and will continue until the summer 2022.
– This is the first project that truly engages the entire Kvarken region. There is widespread interest in the topic, which is shown by the broad partnership that we have managed to create, explains Mr Mathias Lindström, Kvarken Council’s director and FAIR project manager. The project shall develop a method for the early and efficient commercialization of electric-powered regional flights in the Kvarken region.
– The project does not cover any technical solutions or investments. At this stage, we shall produce background material enabling the region to quickly realize the potential of the new technology.
The project’s goal is to create synergy between other electric flight projects with the purpose of together increasing knowledge of the potentials of electric aviation and also of accelerating the implementation of regional electric flights and initiating cross-border innovation processes in relation to these.
The project consists of three main work packages; The first is to carry out a market analysis and a description of regional effects.
The second is to develop guidelines for measures that must be implemented in the region in order to support an early implementation of electric flights. This also includes suggestions for funding models.
The third is to develop new services, products and business models in an innovation process with the purpose of gaining added value from electric flight technology within the public and private sectors.
– This is an opportunity for us to tie the region even closer together, and we can make this into our region’s new flagship project with the help of our partners, with the purpose of contributing to regional development and service structure, improving the communications as well as boosting the preconditions for business life and tourism and to contributing to the development of innovations in the entire Kvarken region, Mr Lindström adds.
An early implementation of electric flights in the region would address the region’s challenges, such as demographic changes, long distances and inadequate east-west connections as well as the global demand and need to reduce climate and environmental impact. Further, it can provide the region’s small airports the chance to prepare for a new role in the future electric aviation network.
– Rome was not built in a day and this project will not deliver all the final answers, but we are now on the go and the ball is set rolling. The project will provide initial answers and suggestions and indicate possibilities and challenges that we must tackle early on in order to reach the goal in the long run and be a forerunner region in this field. We adopted the same approach also in the ferry project, Mr Strand concludes.
1 087 500 EUR, whereof EU will pay 60% through funding via the Interreg Botnia-Atlantica programme. The rest of the funding comes from national and regional co-funding, from the Nordic Council of Ministers and from municipal and private co-funding. Project partnership:
Beneficiaries The Kvarken Council (Lead Part) | Umeå University | University of Vaasa | BioFuel Region | RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) | Region Västerbotten Financiers Interreg Botnia-Atlantica | Regional Council of Ostrobothnia | Region Västerbotten | FAB Kronoby Flyghangar | INTO Seinäjoki | Swedavia, Umeå Airport | Skellefteå Airport AB | Örnsköldsvik Airport AB | City of Vaasa | Vaasa Region Development Company, VASEK | Umeå Municipality | Storumans Flygplats AB | Lycksele flygplats AB | MidtSkandia | Skellefteå Kraft AB | Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce | Handelskammaren Västerbotten | South Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce | Vaasan Sähkö Oy Supporting partners Air Traffic Network | BSR Access | ELISE |Finavia | Funktionshinderrådet i Umeå | Future Cleantech Solutions | Green Flyway | Grön Flygplats | Heart Aerospace | Helsinki Electric Aviation Association ry | Jon Air | Luftfartsverket | NEA – Nordic Network for Electric Aviation | Transportföretagen | Umeå Institute of Design | Umeå
Mathias Lindström Director of the Kvarken Council +358 50 918 6462