BRUSSELS - The winners of the aviation challenge themed as Digital Sky Challenge1 were announced at the awards ceremony as part of the SESAR Innovation Days2 on 4 December in Athens.
Jointly organised by the SESAR JU and ACI Europe and hosted by Athens International Airport, the Digital Sky Challenge took place on 2-4 December in a dedicated airside facility of the airport. The event brought together 52 young tech-talents from 11 European countries competing in 12 teams to create breakthrough prototype solutions to address 3 different challenges: 1. Streamlining the passenger experience, 2. Improving the Environment, 3. Enhancing safety – with the support of several key partners3.
The teams pitched and demoed their solutions to a distinguished judging panel4 which selected the winning teams based on four criteria: level of innovation, business value, design and overall quality of the prototypes.
Passenger Experience Challenge: Innov’ATM
The winning team5 was Innov’ATM, who came up with an innovative app to reduce the stress of travelling while improving airline punctuality. The app helps to track passengers with their consent, so that airlines, airports and ATC know where they are. It offers clear benefits which are marketable and doable.
Safety Challenge: JBM
The winning team6 was JBM. With no prior aviation background, the winning team successfully developed from scratch a safety-net capable of analysing distances between aircraft in order to alert of and thus avert potential incidents.
Environment challenge: Eco-Travellers
The Environment challenge award7 went to Eco-Travellers. The team developed a tool that allows passengers to select the best and most green mobility option, integrating multiple modes of transport. The tool took into account existing systems and carbon offsetting schemes.
Special Recognition Awards
Both Honeywell & Airbus selected the JBM team, who was also the winner of the Safety challenge. They were impressed by the novelty and usefulness of their separation management tool. Innaxis gave a special recognition to AerLabs for its AI-based solution that forecasts weather disruption in order to enable airlines to better access the probability of making flight cancellations.
The solutions that have been generated are now open for further development.
Florian Guillermet, Executive Director of SESAR JU concluded: “Congratulations to all the winning and participating teams in the Digital Sky Challenge - it was truly inspiring to see how much innovation could be achieved in only 48 hours! It clearly demonstrates the amazing talent pool that European aviation has at its disposal. Industry is already expressing an interest in the solutions so I am confident that this is not the end but the beginning of an exciting journey for our winners!”
Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe said: “Hats off to the winners of the Digital Sky Challenge for delivering in just 48 hours truly innovative solutions that can help advance airport operations – with tangible benefits for passengers, the environment and safety. I have been truly impressed by the agility and creativity of Innov’ATM, JBM, Eco-Travellers and AerLabs. I hope their solutions will soon make their way into fully developed and marketed tools and wish them every success for the future.”
Dr. Yiannis Paraschis, CEO of Athens International Airport said: “Our highest respect to the winning teams of the Digital Sky Challenge. They gained the admiration of the jury, but they also attracted the interest and attention of highly important aviation stakeholders, with the degree of innovation, and overall quality of their solutions. We feel extremely proud that Athens International Airport was the first airport site to host the Digital Sky Challenge and indeed privileged to have been able to contribute to the “reinvention” of aviation, through this dynamic and innovative 48-hour “digital sprint” that united the aviation industry on our premises“.
1) Find out more about the Digital Sky Challenge here and check out the Twitter hashtag #DigitalSkyChallenge.
2) Learn more about the SESAR Innovation Days here.
3 )Airbus, Air France, Avinor, BeMyApp, CANSO, EASA, EUROCONTROL, Founda.tion, Frankfurt Airport, Frequentis, Groupe ADP, IATA, Innaxis Research Institute, Honeywell, Lufthansa, Météo-France, Météorage, MetSafe, OpenSky Network and SITA.
4) Giancarlo Buono, Regional Director Safety and Flight Operation for the European region IATA; Léopold Viroles, Data4Safety Lead Analyst EASA; Maria Mavrogeni, Digital Marketing Specialist Athens International Airport; Miriam Le Fevre, Programme Manager COOPANS/SESAR JU; Nicolas Warinsko, General Manager of SESAR Deployment Manager; and Philippe Merlo, Director European Civil-Military Aviation EUROCONTROL.
5) The laureates won a cash prize of 2,000 euros (Athens International Airport) together with other prizes, including flight tickets worth of 2,500 euros (Air France); 1-day flight simulator in Frankfurt Airport (IATA); 5 mini Google homes (MetSafe); tickets to the annual OpenSky Workshop (OpenSky Network); 1-month hosting at Found.ation’s headquarters in Athens and mentorship –onsite and/or mobile (Found.ation) & invitation of one team member to the CANSO ATM Gala dinner on 11 March 2020 in Madrid and invitation of all team members to present the winning solution at the CANSO booth during the 2020 World ATM Congress.
6) The laureates won a cash prize of €2,000 (Athens International Airport) and 2,000 euros (ACI Europe) together with other prizes, including 2,500 euros Miles & More related promotion codes, worldshop vouchers (Lufthansa); invitation to the 2020 High-Level Conference on Environment on 28 April in Brussels (expenses covered by EUROCONTROL); 1-month hosting at Found.ation’s headquarters in Athens and mentorship –onsite and/or mobile (Found.ation) & invitation of one team member to the CANSO ATM Gala dinner on 11 March 2020 in Madrid and invitation of all team members to present the winning solution at the CANSO booth during the 2020 World ATM Congress.
7) The laureates won a cash prize of 2,000 euros (Athens International Airport) together with other prizes, including Amazon vouchers worth of 2,500 euros (SITA); dinner in Vienna to present the solution to Frequentis Management Team (all expenses covered by Frequentis); tickets to the SAFE 360° Conference (EASA); 1-month hosting at Found.ation’s headquarters in Athens and mentorship –onsite and/or mobile (Found.ation) & invitation of one team member to the CANSO ATM Gala dinner on 11 March 2020 in Madrid and invitation of all team members to present the winning solution at the CANSO booth during the 2020 World ATM Congress.