Yesterday, ENAIRE, the national air navigation service provider, presented the awards for the first edition of its Business Ideas Competition and the second edition of the Technological Challenges Competition. Both were managed through the Open Innovation program of CRIDA, its research, development and innovation (R&D&I) subsidiary.
The first edition of the Business Ideas Competition incubated five short-listed ideas, with U-MICROMETEO emerging as the winner with a proposed network of drones at different heights to provide a weather forecast at a micro level.
The "U-MICROMETEO" idea won the Business Ideas Competition, worth 10,000 euros
In the second edition of the Technological Challenges Competition, the winner was the Instituto Tecnológico de Galicia (ITG) with its solution "CIA3-Classifying the Reliability of Aeronautical Information using Artificial Intelligence", which addresses the challenge of using artificial intelligence to ensure the integrity of information.
ENAIRE, as part of its commitment to open innovation, has launched several initiatives through its subsidiary CRIDA to progressively attract innovative talent and create an ecosystem around air traffic management: Competition for Business Ideas, Competition for Technological Challenges and Acceleration Competition (Startups). These competitions seek to capture ideas and solutions at different levels of maturity.
At the awards ceremony for the first edition of the Business Ideas Competition and the second edition of the Technological Challenges Competition, ENAIRE's CEO, Enrique Maurer, noted: "By presenting these awards, we materialize ENAIRE's decision to invest in open innovation, an initiative through which we seek to find ideas and potential businesses to improve the service provided by ENAIRE".
Business Ideas Competition
The aim of the Business Ideas competition is to bolster entrepreneurship and help transform business ideas into real solutions.
Intended for undergraduates, doctoral students, professors or future entrepreneurs, the competition played out over two phases. During the first phase, five ideas were short-listed to undergo a three-month of incubation period to mature their business plan, with the idea with the best business plan being selected in the second phase.
The winner was "U-MICROMETEO", which relies on using a network of drones at different heights to improve weather forecasts at a micro level. Various applications were proposed, such as using it to detect wind shear at airports or in urban environments to ensure safe drone operations. Eduardo Sánchez Ayra (A330/350 pilot and associate professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid) and Javier Diana López (aeronautical engineer) were the creators of the winning idea, which was worth 10,000 euros.
Technological Challenges Competition
The aim of the Technological Challenges competition is to find medium- and long-term solutions to technological challenges in the field of air transport by using technologies from other areas.
The contest proved to be very popular, receiving more than 20 proposals from prestigious universities, research centers and private companies, 25% of them international, as proposals were received from five continents (Australia, Hungary, India, Senegal and the United States).
The winner was the Technological Institute of Galicia (ITG) with its solution "CIA3-Classifying the Reliability of Aeronautical Information using Artificial Intelligence", which addresses the challenge of automation to ensure the integrity of information.
The proposed solution relies on artificial intelligence models and language technologies that yield a reliable classification of different sources of aeronautical information based on the predictions made by these models.
ITG's CEO, Carlos Calvo Orosa, and the Director of the UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Division, Analía López Fidalgo, accepted the prize. Its participation demonstrates the commitment and experience of this institution to the search for cutting-edge solutions. The prize consists of an 18-month research agreement and a financial reward of 60,000 euros.
Acceleration Competition (Startups)
The first edition of ENAIRE's Acceleration (Startups) competition remains open, through CRIDA, until 30 June. The winning solutions will receive a 40,000-euro prize and will undergo a 6-month acceleration programme, where they will have the chance to validate their solution at ENAIRE.