European Aeronautics:

Strong Government Presence in Industry Structure and Research and Development Support

NSIAD-94-71: Published: Mar 23, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the European aeronautics industry, focusing on the: (1) structure of the aeronautics industries in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom; (2) support that these countries' respective governments give to aeronautical research and development (R&D); and (3) organization of the countries' respective aeronautical R&D establishments.

GAO found that: (1) European governments have consolidated and collaborated to shape the structure of their aeronautics industries since the end of World War II; (2) collaborative efforts generally do not involve joint research or information sharing on aeronautical technologies because of national security concerns and the aircraft manufacturers' unwillingness to share competitively sensitive data; (3) government assistance has typically included aid for both technology and product R&D; (4) each of the three European countries studied has a major, government-supported research establishment that maintains various facilities to conduct military and civil aeronautical R&D; and (5) although government accounts have been set up to fund research establishments in the past, the establishments now rely on contracts from government and industry for funding.

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