Industry Challenge | Smart Coatings

By Bethan Lauder

Open Call | Smart Aircraft Coatings for Structural Health Monitoring

Open Call

Application Start Date:       1 March 2019

Application End Date:         31 March 2020

Smart Aircraft Coatings for Structural Health Monitoring

  1. About Airbus Endeavr Wales
  2. Endeavr approach 
  3. What are the areas of interest
  4. What support is available 
  5. Who can apply
  6. How to apply 
  7. Apply


Airbus continuously invests in the latest technology, expertise and production processes to optimise cost, speed up the time to market and provide a total solution to its’ customers.

As innovation is at the core of this activity, Airbus collaborates with start-ups, scale-ups, SMEs, universities, industry and government partners, lead users and suppliers.


To enhance the safety of an aircraft and reduce aircraft down times, Airbus is committed to the implementation of Aircraft Structural Health Management (ASHM) Systems. The aim is to use technology to move from scheduled to predictive and condition led inspections and reduce the time required for maintenance. 


To address this industry-wide challenge, Endeavr is looking for smart aircraft coatings that can be used as a 'paint' that can both indicate damage and give quantifiable data relating to the severity of any damage. To achieve this, new techniques are required that allow the structure to 'talk' to the operators and indicate when the airframe requires attention - acting in a similar way to the human nervous system. This necessitates new and novel inspection methodologies that have the ability to magnify defects and either eliminate traditional inspection techniques or guide the inspectors to local areas for further investigation.


Collaborative projects can be:

  • early feasibility studies to analyse and evaluate the potential of an idea, including market research
  • industrial research, with the intention that the skills and knowledge acquired will lead to an improvement in existing products, processes or services

Graphic depicts an aircraft being monitored for structural health monitoring

Image: Smart coatings that can be used to monitor the structural health of an aircraft.

Get Involved

Small and medium sized businesses and academic researchers are encouraged to submit ideas for consideration. The most important thing is that your idea, if successful, will be something that industry will want to use and be willing to pay for. 

Visit Inspiring Innovation to discover other 'open calls'.

Take a look at our case studies to find out about some of the other research ideas and industry challenges that Airbus Endeavr has supported.

Don't see what you're looking for? Submit a brief overview of your idea for a research or technology project. A member of the team will get in touch to discuss how your proposed research project may help to address a challenge faced by industry. 

Connect with us on twitter: @Airbus_Endeavr and Linkedin: Airbus Endeavr Wales

Graphic: Endeavr industry challenge - smart aircraft coatings for structural health monitoring