By means of the Fly Your Ideas programme, the company is encouraging students around the world to submit innovative proposals for the sector

The irruption of crowdsourcing, as a strategy to develop ideas open to citizens, has reached the aerospace sector. It is Fly Your Ideas; an Airbus proposal aimed at young people all over the world. Through this programme, the company provides a unique opportunity for students to deploy their pioneering spirit and innovate for the future of the industry.

This initiative, which has been supported by UNESCO since 2012, is a biennial competition in which classroom learning and research are applied to solve real-world challenges. Since 2008, more than 20,000 students from more than 700 universities in more than 100 countries around the world have signed up to participate in Fly Your Ideas, and more than 500 Airbus employees have contributed their expertise and mentoring to the competition.


Ideas flow in the following fields:

Electrification: How can we fly farther, longer and cleaner using integrated electrical power systems?
Data services: What innovative applications and services can be created based on Airbus data?
Cyber security: How can we identify travellers safely and without interruption while minimising the impact on passengers and on airport and airline security?
The Internet of Things: How can this revolutionize the passenger experience or improve collaboration in the aerospace industry?
Artificial Intelligence: In the future of aerospace or industrial manufacturing, how can we use AI to identify completely new opportunities or business models?
Mixed reality: How can the aerospace industry put Apple’s mixed reality applications and Google’s mass market to work?


The competition

This year’s competition focuses on the use of the latest digital technologies to create intelligent solutions that will lead to a safer, cleaner and better connected world. It includes three progressive and highly competitive rounds that will conclude with a live final.

Airbus experts selected seven teams for the final competition after a three-month development phase that required the support of the company’s mentors. The finalist team members represent 11 countries (Argentina, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom) and eight different universities.

They were selected from more than 270 entries worldwide. Their academic backgrounds range from engineering to information technology, natural sciences and finance. The range of trend-setting ideas they have put forward go from a ‘smart wheeled chair’ for air travel to a solar windmill.

The teams are currently in Toulouse, France, working at Airbus’ innovation, research and development facilities to further develop their prototypes using state-of-the-art equipment and with the support of aeronautical experts. Finally, on 27 June, the students will present their projects to Airbus experts, personalities from the aerospace industry and academia, and the winner will be selected

The winner will receive 45,000 euros with which they will be able to implement their project within the sector. Although the application period has ended, young people who wish to participate in the next edition can find information through this link.

The seven finalists are:

Team AIQinspect, University of Saarland  of Germany; Team ‘Zero’ Heroes, Delft University of Technology of The Netherlands; Team Osprey,  University of Strathclyde of United Kingdom;  Team Move-ez,  Technical University of Milan  of Italy; Team V.A.C.A, National University of La Plata of Argentina; Team AirFish, y  Team Seren, University of Cambridge of United Kingdom.