We have been applying our varied expertise within the SESAR R&D initiative since its inception in 2005 and we are committed to maintaining this well into the future. At various points in time, we have worked at every level within SESAR and the SJU, and have become highly regarded for our ability to deliver solutions successfully to target maturity. This page provides an overview of our approach to SESAR and how we support our European clients within this framework.



The SESAR initiative supports the transformation of European Air Traffic Management (ATM), and aims to improve performance through the modernisation and harmonisation of ATM systems. SESAR is the “technological pillar” of the Single European Sky and is composed of two parts: research and innovation (SESAR JU) and deployment (SESAR DM).

SESAR Research and Innovation (R&I) is one of the largest and most complex programmes of its kind in the world. To be successful, projects within SESAR need to support performance improvement in the targeted areas, but also be consistent with the goals of the wider initiative. Following the SESAR approach helps to ensure the overall quality of the initiative, facilitates the review process and critically the maturity assessment and solution pack publication; all of which are essential to the success of the individual projects.

At Think, we understand this process. We understand the overall architecture and performance needs and hence, we are able to help our clients deliver solutions in a low risk “SESAR way” – and have been doing so since the beginning:


2005 – 2008

Our involvement in the SESAR programme extends back to the definition phase. As part of this, we helped to determine how SESAR itself should be structured and how it should operate. This early involvement has given us a full appreciation of the core ambitions of SESAR and how these have evolved over the years to meet industry needs around Europe.


We were awarded their first SESAR1 contract, contributing to the development of the P06.09.03 project initiation report. This work for NORACON was the start of our heavy involvement in SESAR 1.

2010 – 2016

Our continued involvement in SESAR 1 eventually spanned 19 projects for various partners. These opportunities yielded on-hand experience in all aspects of the SESAR initiative and established us as recognised SESAR experts by the time that the SESAR1 initiative came to a close.


Our research and reputation in validation helped us become Associate Partners to the SESAR Joint Undertaking in 2011.

2016 – 2019

As a result, several member organisations across Europe sought support from us as SESAR2020’s first wave launched soon after. Again, assisting clients in various domains provided us with exposure to the full range of SESAR2020 templates and updated processes. This allowed us to build a uniquely connected understanding of how concepts can best be shepherded towards maturity and how to proactively remove barriers to smooth execution.

2019 – 2023

During Waves 2 & 3 of the SESAR 2020 programme, we diversified our offering across the data pack to include technical specifications and human performance assessments. We also considerably increased our level of support, which by 2023 extended to 26 solutions across many projects. We also built experience in the systems engineering elements of SESAR – EATMA and SE-DMF.

2023- Present

We are now preparing ourselves to kick-off our involvement in SESAR 3, across the Exploratory Research, Industrial Research and Digital Sky Demonstrator (DSD) levels. This includes taking lessons learnt through our SESAR 2020 contributions to further enhance our approach for the future.



To demonstrate our wide-reaching contributions to Industrial Research (IR) SESAR Solutions, we’ve developed this interactive exploration of each of them:



We have a full understanding of the SESAR deliverables and have developed methods that help us to deliver SESAR documents in a highly effective way, while prioritising quality and value to potential deploying organisations. As such, our contributions can be easily consolidated at solution level, with minimal further updates needed, or can assume responsibility for entire deliverables and even data packs.

We know the SESAR deliverable templates inside and out due to many years of on-hand experience authoring, contributing to, and reviewing each part of the data pack. We know how to avoid common errors and instead focus effort on leveraging the templates to produce highly useful documents. Our consultants have diverse knowledge and disciplines, enabling the production of well-rounded and comprehensive documents. We pride ourselves on the high-standard of our writing and exceptional standard of English.


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Validation exercises require extensive resources such as ATCO participation and simulation facilities, but also demand a heavy investment in concept prototyping and iterative development. This makes it critical that the validation data generated through each activity of the planned exercises is appropriate and supports the targeted objectives. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the validation approach, we are committed to providing a tailored methodology consisting of the most suitable collection methods and metrics.

Our experienced consultants use a mixture of validation techniques and soft skills to obtain all relevant feedback and ideas from participants. We work hard to establish a positive relationship with the project team and controllers, which helps us in gaining crucial insights into a concept’s benefits and drawbacks.

But inevitably, with human-in-the-loop exercises and complex prototypes, things can go wrong. To get on the right track, adaptive skills and experience are needed to react to unforeseen circumstances and take advantage of opportunities to salvage the required outputs.



In addition to the catalogue of work on the R&D pillar of SESAR, whilst directly supporting the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) we were a key part of determining the Wave 2 prioritisation process and supporting the selection of topics for the new phase. We continue to assist the SJU in identifying future focus areas for the industry and ensuring that its programmes deliver the expected positive change across the continent.

In parallel, we have been a leading voice for the European Commission (EC) and have been influential in the next generation European research programmes through co-authoring the SESAR Airspace Architecture Study (AAS), reviewing the performance of the SJU in the context of Horizon 2020 and even shaping the EC’s views on future funding mechanisms for collaborative ATM research in Europe. This is all as a means to creating a more agile and cost effective environment for European R&D.

We are also expert practitioners of the European Operational Concept Validation Methodology (E-OCVM), having been authors of the methodology. We apply it in all our SESAR activities and have provided E-OCVM training to clients both within and outside Europe, including EUROCONTROL themselves.  Our background and reputation in validation helped us become Associate Partners to the SESAR Joint Undertaking in 2011.