TheNFAPost Podcast
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  • ‘Traveler wellbeing’ challenge aims to accelerate and scale market-ready solutions and products that enhance health and safety for travelers
  • Companies and organisations of all sizes from around the world invited to apply to pitch for collaboration with Emirates Airline and Aviation X Lab
  • Eight finalists to pitch innovative solutions directly to Aviation X Lab Board
  • Winning entries will be rolled-out in Dubai in bid to return confidence to travel sector
  • Submissions open until 3 August, virtual pitches made on 25 August

Dubai, NFAPost: The Aviation X Lab launched a virtual aviation competition in partnership with AREA 2071 for international start-ups, companies and organisations of all sizes to submit market-ready solutions to reinvigorate the consumer travel industry.

Situated in AREA 2071 within the Dubai Future District, The Aviation X Lab is an aviation initiative led by Emirates Airline, Thales, Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation and Airbus.

The ‘traveler wellbeing’ challenge is open to submissions from international businesses – from start-ups to corporates – whose innovative, market-ready solutions will improve health and safety standards for consumer travel and restore confidence to global travel markets.

Virtual workshop

Importantly, submissions are not limited to the traveler journey; the Aviation X Lab are looking at solutions and products that the traveler can continue using after they arrive at their destination.

From an unlimited field of applicants, a top eight (8) will be selected to pitch directly to the Aviation X Lab Board, following a three-day virtual workshop with the AREA 2071 and the Aviation X Lab team which focuses on the requirements of the world-renowned brands and prepping the teams for the final pitch.

Successful submissions will be determined by the Aviation X Lab Board, which comprises a representative from each founding partner entity, based on six base criteria: the fit to the challenge, market readiness, scalability, degree of innovation, credibility to deliver, and impact of the product. From the final eight, selected entities will work in collaboration with Emirates to roll-out their travel solutions across Dubai in the coming months.

Pandemic hit industry

Commenting on the startup initiative, Aviation X Lab spokesperson Amna Al Redha said global aviation and travel are key industries that generate tremendous economic and social value.

“The pandemic has hit these industries hard, but it also presents opportunities to rethink existing industry practices or offer travelers new products and services. We’re calling on the international business community to bring their innovative market solutions to us so that we can inspire greater confidence in the industry and enable people to do what they’re desperate to do again and travel the world in the safest, and most sustainable way possible,” said Aviation X Lab spokesperson Amna Al Redha.

The aviation challenge is part of AREA 2071’s efforts in creating unique programmes and industry specific challenges in collaboration with government and private organizations to disrupt and further innovate strategic sectors in Dubai.

AREA 2071, an innovation ecosystem led by the Dubai Future Foundation, further connects and creates synergies between likeminded individuals and organizations, driving Dubai’s innovation landscape.

Emerging technologies

Expressing happiness over the initiative, Future Design and Acceleration Executive Director at the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) Saeed Al Falasi said DFF has always held the mandate of future foresight and supporting key sectors to grow and innovate through employing emerging technologies.

“Through our innovation ecosystem, AREA 2071, and our ability to curate tailored programs, DFF not only supports organizations in analyzing and identifying their challenges but also connects them with the right startups and solution providers to transform those challenges into an innovative idea. Through our collaboration with the Aviation X Lab we aim to bring about much needed innovative solutions that would revive travellers’ confidence and trust in the industry,” said Future Design and Acceleration Executive Director at the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF).

Future Design and Acceleration Executive Director at the DFF said the challenge launched by Emirates Airline and through the Aviation X Lab is a key opportunity for local and global companies.

“The challenge will quickly pivot and develop innovative solutions that not only ensure the safety and health of travelers but also redesign the whole aviation industry, allowing one of the most dynamic sectors to pick up even stronger and soar high again,” said Future Design and Acceleration Executive Director at the DFF.

Interested applicants can submit their proposals and sign up to a webinar to find out more by visiting  https://area2071.ae/traveler-wellbeing/

Aviation X Lab

Aviation X Lab is a bold and ambitious aviation-specific incubator that brings together five global aviation giants: Emirates airline, Thales, Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation and Airbus. UAE telecom provider du is the Lab’s Digital Innovation Partner. Based in AREA 2071 at the Emirates Towers, 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.

In partnership with Dubai Future Foundation, Aviation X Lab aims to enhance the air travel experience, innovate and create the next era of aviation through a sustained programme of funding and collaboration with global players in the innovation ecosystem. Its vision is to impact one billion people through innovation.

Aviation X Lab works in cycles of 12 months with five key active phases: launching challenges; sourcing start-ups and corporates globally; validating concepts; conducting rapid feasibility; and sourcing funding. Through this journey, X Lab offers hand-on support, logistics, research, resources, peer feedback, mentorship, and close collaboration.

AREA 2071

The UAE Centennial Plan aims to make the UAE the world’s leading nation by 2071. AREA 2071, an initiative by Dubai Future Foundation, is a physical manifestation of this vision with the sole purpose of creating a positive global impact.

It is a space and ecosystem purposefully designed to deeply connect corporates, governments, startups, investors, the youth, and the public in order to co-create the future. It brings together many different types of people and organizations. Together they form a collaborative creative community focused on solving important human challenges at scale.

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