Technology

Carbon reduction and AI start-ups among IAG’s Hangar 51 finalists

Posted by Ben Ireland on
Carbon reduction and AI start-ups among IAG’s Hangar 51 finalists

Thirteen start-up companies have been chosen as finalists in International Airlines Group (IAG)’s latest Hangar 51 global accelerator programme.

From 474 applications in around 50 countries, 36 start-ups presented their products and services before 250 senior aviation and travel industry executives and a judging panel, including four airline CEOs, at a pitch day in Madrid.

The successful start-ups will work at IAG for 10 weeks with mentors and experts from across the group, gaining access to resources to develop, shape and scale-up their businesses.

The innovative projects include next generation voice artificial intelligence and new carbon capture technology to effectively remove CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

The Hangar 51 finalists are:

Sustainability:

  • Mosaic Materials (US) has created an adsorbent material to capture CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.
  • Climate Blockchain (Spain) enables businesses and consumers to offset their carbon footprint by investing in green projects that can be tracked using blockchain technology.

Airport operations and logistics:

  • Whispr (Denmark) converts checklists and manuals into audio guides to support employees on technical tasks while providing real-time performance data to supervisors.
  • SynapseMX (US) uses artificial intelligence to streamline aircraft turnaround times during unscheduled maintenance works.
  • Donecle (France) uses drones for automated aircraft inspections.

Future cargo logistics:

  • AllRead MLT (Spain) has developed software that simplifies and optimises data extraction using machine learning technology.

Disruption management:

  • RubiQ (Israel) allows passengers to self-manage flight disruption through artificial intelligence communication.

Future of customer interaction:

  • EuroPass (France) delivers an mobile payment service for Chinese travellers to pay in their domestic currency for hotel bookings or tickets to visit tourist attractions.
  • PolyAI (UK) has developed conversational artificial intelligence technology to enhance customer experience and improve call centre efficiency.

New products and services:

  • Sherpa (Canada) offers passengers the possibility to obtain eVisas based on their nationality and destination for an additional service fee during the booking process.
  • KornChain (UK) is to create a global loyalty points exchange network powered by blockchain.

Wildcard:

  • Quantum Metric (UK) aims to identify and eliminate friction experienced by passengers across all digital channels.
  • TroopTravel (South Africa- Spain) uses big data analytics to optimise companies’ group travel plans, meetings and events by comparing destinations in terms of costs, travel time, visa requirements and carbon footprint.

Dupsy Abiola, IAG’s head of global innovation, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the largest ever group of fantastic teams in this year’s Hangar 51 with an amazing array of new products showcased by global start-ups from North America, Europe, Israel and Africa.

“In line with IAG’s focus on sustainability, this year we’re exploring innovative carbon capture technology to remove CO2 emissions directly from the atmosphere which will play a vital part in the aviation industry’s plans to tackle climate change.

“Hangar 51 provides unique advantages to start-ups. It aims to rapidly validate their products on real-world business challenges to accelerate their growth. Disruptive start-ups can benefit from IAG’s size, global exposure and expertise to help drive faster product innovation and gain funding from the Group’s multimillion-pound venture fund. This is a great opportunity for start-ups seeking to highlight the potential of emerging technology and new ways of thinking while IAG explores innovative applications to transform customer experience.”

The Hangar 51 accelerator programme’s demo day will be held in Barcelona in January 2020.

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