In a bid to initiate innovation, explore new opportunities and push for the adoption of blockchain technology in the aviation sector, Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH) has teamed up with SAP.iO Berlin Foundry to launch the first ever Aviation Blockchain Challenge. The goal of this partnership is to provide an attractive and conducive environment that will bring together talented blockchain experts and entrepreneurs around the world for the sake of combining resources and experimenting with blockchain based business models.
Lufthansa’s ingenious R&D ecosystem and industry expertise combined with SAP’s technologies and mentorship should lead to the development of groundbreaking blockchain concepts that have the potential to transform the aviation sector.
Is a blockchain challenge necessary?
Currently, the finance industry is leading the way when it comes to blockchain solutions and innovations, while other sectors like Travel and Mobility have seen little development with regards to blockchain adoption. Recognizing the fact that competition breeds innovation, Lufthansa is hoping that this blockchain challenge will help initiate the development of innovative blockchain concepts and solutions for the airline industry.
Speaking on the reason for setting up the challenge, Eurowings CEO and Lufthansa Group board member, Thorsten Dirks, had this to say:
“Blockchain is one of the game-changing technologies of our time, which we are systematically addressing as part of our digital strategy for the Lufthansa Group. […] By combining our aviation industry expertise with the Blockchain technology of a world market leader, we are creating the ideal worldwide framework for addressing Blockchain entrepreneurs with an affinity for travel and mobility.”
On the other hand, SAP’s Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, Deepak Krishnamurthy had nothing but praise for the challenge project. According to him, it will serve as a crucial part of “a new innovative ecosystem” that could potentially revamp the airline industry.
Details of the Innovation Blockchain Challenge
Lufthansa has divided the challenge into three categories:
The Airline Challenge: This challenge focuses on the creation of concepts and solutions that help improve accuracy and eradicate errors in airline operations. The airline challenge will tackle issues like data sharing, and will also seek out ways to enhance the transfer of information within the departments and the organization as a whole.
The Traveler Challenge: As its name suggests, the traveler challenge is passenger oriented and seeks to identify ways to improve the passenger’s experience during the journey. It could include ideas or concepts that will make the traveler’s voyage satisfactory and provide more value for the passengers.
The Supplier Challenge: This challenge is focused on the supply chain and seeks out sustainable solutions for revolutionizing airline supply chain management systems and maintenance procedures.
Timeline and Prizes
The first phase of the challenge will start on August 31, 2018, and will begin with the submission of ideas. Shortly after, a list of selected participants will be announced; this will be followed by a pitch preparation and mentoring by SAP and LIH blockchain experts. The final pitch will take place at the Lufthansa Innovation Forum.
Based on the announcement, prices for the selected entries will include:
- Potential pilot project in conjunction with Lufthansa Group
- Professional mentoring to be provided for all shortlisted teams
- Provision of a Global stage for your idea incl. media awareness and international press coverage
- A chance to make a pitch in front of the senior management
- Travel expenses will be covered (up to 2500€ per team)
- Finalists get a chance to improve their MVP by gaining access to SAP’s Blockchain-as-a-Service
- Free office space for a 3-month period in the Berlin ecosystem
- SAP and LIH will take zero equity
Blockchain technology investments are starting to pick up the pace within the aviation sector, as airline companies have begun investigating use cases of this technology. In a recent announcement, the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing unveiled their blockchain system which utilizes UAV to track allocation of flight corridors. If the Lufthansa’s blockchain competition goes as planned, it will lead to the development of cutting-edge blockchain solutions in the aviation industry that should help improve the acceptance and adoption of this disruptive technology.