Aviation X Lab to reinvent the next era of air travel
Unique partnership between five global aviation giants to impact one billion people
Aviation is a cornerstone of the UAE’s economy, supporting around 800,000 jobs and contributing to the economy US$47.4 billion, which is set to increase nearly three-fold by 2037. Dubai is looking to mitigate the challenges in the aviation ecosystem, and we have a laser-sharp focus on the evolution of technology and innovations that impact the industry, communities, future generations and our planet. We want to look far beyond aviation as it exists today and embrace the innovations waiting to happen, the next set of Big Ideas in the aviation space. Aviation X Lab will identify, support, fund and make these innovations accessible globally. Our aim is to transform human mobility.”
Dubai, UAE, 30 October 2019 – Aviation X Lab, the ambitious aviation-specific incubator that brings some of the largest global pioneers under one umbrella, was unveiled at Area 2071 earlier in the week. Aviation X Lab establishes a long-term partnership between Emirates and Airbus, Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation, and Thales with an aim to enhance the travel experience. Telecom provider du has signed on as its Digital Innovation Partner.
In partnership with Dubai Future Foundation, Aviation X Lab aims to innovate and create the next era of aviation with its bold vision to positively impact the lives of one billion people.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group said: “Aviation is a cornerstone of the UAE’s economy, supporting around 800,000 jobs and contributing to the economy US$47.4 billion, which is set to increase nearly three-fold by 2037.* Dubai is looking to mitigate the challenges in the aviation ecosystem, and we have a laser-sharp focus on the evolution of technology and innovations that impact the industry, communities, future generations and our planet.
“We want to look far beyond aviation as it exists today and embrace the innovations waiting to happen, the next set of Big Ideas in the aviation space. Aviation X Lab will identify, support, fund and make these innovations accessible globally. Our aim is to transform human mobility.”
Aviation X Lab announced its first-ever challenges with the deadline for submissions set in early 2020:
Challenge 1: carbon negative aviation industry. Although the aviation industry is responsible for just 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, the challenge is based on the premise that airlines produces 115gm of CO2 per passenger km, which is 859 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The challenge is to reduce this by 100gm or 87% to 15gm of CO2 per passenger km by 2030.
Challenge 2: Airports to Airportals. While the travel industry is projected to double in the next 15 years, adding 3.4 billion new travellers, the current model of airports is a barrier to passenger growth. The challenge is to rethink the airports’ model to achieve metrics of 10 passengers per M2 of airport infrastructure with a 10-minute maximum transition time between landside and airside.
Aviation X Lab is inviting and reaching out to start-ups, innovators, academics, NGOs, activists and corporates globally to participate in the challenges. The incubator will select teams and bring them to Dubai to co-create, experiment and develop prototypes at their premises in Area 2071. In the next phase, up to four teams will be shortlisted, and invited to pitch to investors and venture capitalists for additional funding.
The opening event witnessed demos of three key products – one from Thales and two from Emirates.
Thales showcased how Solo, its virtual assistant powered by Thales TrUE AI (Transparent, Understandable, and Ethical AI), could help increase safety and support the pilot in every decisive moment during flight. In the demo, Solo leveraged every available data to permanently provide the crew with the most efficient trajectory to optimise flight efficiency and passenger comfort.
Emirates demonstrated two ground-breaking solutions incorporating AI technology. One supports an important sustainability goal – reducing food waste. The technology provides real-time predictions and recommendations that ensure customers get their first choice inflight, while minimising quantities of unconsumed food. Bahja, an app created by a team of UAE Nationals, incorporates facial recognition technology to help measure employee happiness, and provides real-time feedback. The app encourages employees to share their motivations with the user community, contributing to a happier workplace, and therefore happier customers.
Aviation X Lab will work in cycles of 12 months with five key active phases: launching challenges; sourcing start-ups globally; validating concepts; exploring rapid feasibility, and sourcing funding. Through this journey, X Lab will offer hands-on logistics support, research, resources, peer feedback, mentorship, and close collaboration.
Aviation X Lab was founded in October 2017 with an MOU signed in the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
*stats from IATA
About Area 2071
Area 2071 is a creative ecosystem to design the future that brings together government, creative individuals, businesses, and people from all walks of life. The name Area 2071 originates from the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, the naming of which signifies 100 years since the formation of the United Arab Emirates. Through its vision and objectives, UAE Centennial Plan 2071 seeks to invest primarily in the youth of the UAE and to work for UAE to be the best nation in the world by 2071. For more information please visit http://area2071.ae/
Emirates is the world’s largest international airline with a global network of 158 destinations in 85 countries across six continents. Emirates operates 268 modern aircraft and is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s. Luxurious amenities, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, an award-winning inflight entertainment system – ice – and unmatched hospitality from its iconic multilingual cabin crew from over 135 nationalities have made Emirates one of the world’s most recognised airline brands.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018 it generated revenues of € 64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
About GE Aviation
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components, integrated digital, avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings and is part of the world's Digital Industrial Company with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. For more information, visit us at http://www.ge.com/aviation. Follow GE Aviation on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GEAviation and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/GEAviation.
About Collins Aerospace
Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Created in 2018 by bringing together UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins, Collins Aerospace has the capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and expertise to solve customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. For more information, visit CollinsAerospace.com.
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global technology leader shaping the world of tomorrow today. The Group provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets. With 80,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2018 (on a pro forma basis including Gemalto). Thales is investing in particular in digital innovations — connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments.
Operating under the steadfast umbrella of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), du is an integral driver of the UAE’s economic, social and digital transformation. Thriving on digitally innovating all facets of the contemporary telecom experience, we touch the lives of millions of customers everyday as a dedicated enabler of connectivity, continuity and growth across consumer and enterprise segments. Whether delivering state-of-the-art Smart City infrastructure, bespoke enterprise ICT solutions, government communications, secure data solutions, or the very best in home entertainment and value, we are a reliable telco and ICT player shaping the future of communication for a more connected tomorrow.