The Italian Centre for Aerospace Research
CIRA S.c.p.A. was founded in 1998. The Italian State controls it through the Italian Space Agency and the National Research Council. The Campania region and the main aerospace companies in Italy also have stakes. Employing over 300 staff, CIRA is entrusted with the implementation of PRORA (Italian acronym for Programma Nazionale di Ricerche Aerospaziali: Aerospace Research National Programme), as regulated by Ministerial Regulations n. 305 of 10/06/1998.
PRORA is a governmental measure (the current one has been approved by the Italian Ministry for University and Research and by MEF (Italian Ministry of Economics and Finance), devised in compliance with the National Research Programme (PNR) and with the National Space Plan (PSN) which meets the requirements as expressed by Industry and Research. The Programme has been approved in accordance with the proposal made by CIRA and on the basis of the observations and proposals made by PRORA Monitoring Commission. PRORA takes into account the international prospects of aeronautical and space industry and consists in:
- the performance of scientific and technological research, education and training of aeronautical and space industry workers, to be pursued also through the involvement in European and International research programmes, in accordance with the scientific, technological and financial progress of the same industries and in compliance with the relative national and international schemes;
- the execution and management of works, facilities and infrastructures, capital goods and equipment required for the activities mentioned above, which are part of the Country's asset
- By statutory law the annual grants-in-aid for CIRA overheads amounts to approx. Euros 20 million, while for the implementation of PRORA the State fund as fixed in 1989 amounts to about Euros 389 million, over 296 of which already invested (PRORA Monitoring Commission has fixed the deadline for the employment of the appropriations by the years 2007-08).
- The updating of current PRORA has been approved after the favourable opinion expressed by the Monitoring Commission and includes the following:
- the termination of works for the construction of large plants for ground testing and earth laboratories started in the '90s (Plasma Wind Tunnel; Icing Wind Tunnel; Lab for Aerospace Structures Impact Tests; Materials and Advanced Technologies Lab; Acoustics and Vibrations Lab);
- the development of system activities of the technological demonstrators and Flying Test Beds, named UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and USV (Unmanned Space Vehiches). In particular, the USV programme is being developed in cooperation with Italy's Air Force;
- the implementation of new aeronautical and space initiatives in case of further funds appropriated.
In 2010 CIRA closed its balance with a profit of € 11,244,807.99.