Flying Forward 2020 consortium launches the era of Urban Air Mobility in Europe
Flying Forward 2020

11 December 2020

Press Release

We help cities to become more liveable, sustainable and resilient by creating the 21st-century spatial infrastructure and ecosystem. Today we announce the official start of FF2020.

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, 11 December 2020 – Flying Forward 2020 is a three-year collaborative research project that will develop a new Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ecosystem aligned with the Digital Government Transformation (DGT) of EU member States that focus on incorporating Urban Air Mobility within the spatial data infrastructure of cities. Building and incorporating all related data from UAM infrastructures and operations within the digital infrastructure of cities will allow us in helping society to fly forward in a safe, secure and effective way to make life easier.

FF2020 is a consortium and ecosystem which will help Europe to accelerate the Urban Air Mobility development. This ecosystem involves an international multi-disciplinary team of experts (Brainport Development, Digie, EUROUSC Italia, Nalantis, Serendipity, University of Maastricht and VERSES), and supporting partners (Airmap, Eindhoven City, Estonian Aviation Academy, Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC), Hepta, Lumo Labs, Microsoft, Milan City, Nokia, NXP, Oulu City, Skycorp, Tartu City, Unifly and VDL).

The results of the ecosystem, the Urban Air Mobility infrastructure, will be tested in five Living Labs across Europe to enable co-creation research (High Tech Campus Eindhoven, University of Oulu, Tartu Science Park, Ospedale San Raffaele of Milan and the City of Zaragoza). The consortium is supported by large Institutions including UAM Initiative Cities Community (UIC2), EUROCONTROL, SESAR Joint Undertaking, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and  the European Space Agency (ESA).

“Urban mobility was limited to two dimensions, until now. But humans do see three dimensions, therefore, Urban Air Mobility (UAM) will help societies experience an entire new dimension of mobility. We are flying forward in creating Sustainable and Resilient." 

Frank M. Salzgeber // Head of Innovation and Ventures Office // European Space Agency (ESA)

Roughly half of the world’s inhabitants live in cities. It is expected that by 2050, 80% of the world’s population will concentrate in cities. These cities and their citizens are faced with enormous and growing mobility challenges. Around the world, cities are introducing initiatives aimed at addressing urban mobility issues, improving (digital) infrastructures, and tackling pollution.

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is described as the ‘next generation’ lifeblood of modern cities, a critical economic factor, and a facilitator of smart, sustainable development. Flying Forward 2020 (FF2020) – a research project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Programme – embraces this new reality. Together they will work for the European Union to be a leader and global frontrunner in solving the environmental, social, economic and technological challenges of the 21st century by providing UAM-based integrated, inclusive and sustainable (digital) solutions that are safe, secure and convenient.

F2020 will deliver an entire state-of-the-art spatial UAM infrastructure and ecosystem, which will include six key components:

  • An interoperable and scalable governance model and framework
  • A machine-readable and executable regulatory framework
  • An open geospatial digital infrastructure based on spatial web standard
  • An identity framework for operators, drones and authorities
  • A technology-agnostic service layer and toolbox
  • EU-compliant interoperability frameworks (technical, semantic, legal, political, and organizational)


Contact information

Project coordinator: Brainport Development Eindhoven
Main contact: Ruud van Iwaarden
Email address:

© FF2020