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European Commission to grant Belgium aid for SABCA

The European Commission has granted Belgium €32.8 in aid to enable research and development of flap support structures for the future Airbus A350 XWB passenger aircraft.
  The Commission deemed EU state aid rules applicable, and authorised a repayable advance to Belgium for the aeronautics company SABCA.
  State aid was granted because the Commission viewed the technology's positive effects as outweighing potential distortions of competition. Additionally, the research on flap supports will make them lighter and increase performance, thereby reducing the carbon footprint which is a long-term goal of the EU.
"Sabca's research project focuses on innovative technical solutions for a new architecture of flap support structures that will contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of aircraft. The aid for this challenging project will benefit the knowledge base and innovative capacities of the European aeronautics industry without unduly distorting competition," said Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia.

Belgian authorities proved that their own financial sector was reluctant to give funding for the project with evidence showing a genuine market failure, causing the Commission approval of the state aid.
If successful, SABCA will repay the loan with interest to the EU. Should sales go over the success threshold, Belgium will receive royalty-fees. Only a small share of the aerostructures' market is held by SABCA, so the aid should not create an unfair advantage in research and development.

Source: NewEurope