Royal Schiphol Group hosts FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub Live event
Royal Schiphol Group hosted Corporate Partners of the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub for a special event at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on 13 March 2023. The event featured a fascinating keynote, an innovation-focused panel discussion, and startup pitches. The gathering also provided a welcome opportunity for face-to-face networking and knowledge-sharing between our Corporate Partners.
Keynote session: Royal Schiphol Group on an innovation strategy “aiming for the Moon and Mars”
The event began with a joint keynote session, bringing members of the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub and the FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group together for the first time. Attendees heard a fascinating presentation from Carolijn Schoofs, Head of Innovation, who shared how Royal Schiphol Group is “aiming for the Moon and Mars” with transformational, disruptive change and business models. Schoofs explained the Schiphol innovation ecosystem in 2023, as well as how autonomous airside operations are “a very promising answer to our most pressing challenges” and the innovations that will shape the future of baggage handling.
KLM and Schiphol Group Aviation Solutions share innovation insights
The next session began with a joint presentation by Mieke Struik, Head, Schiphol Group Aviation Solutions, and Sjoerd Blum, Tech & Data Evangelist, Schiphol Group Aviation Solutions. They focused on the importance of collaboration in the industry to accelerate innovation. Struik and Blum highlighted how Schiphol Group Aviation Solutions is achieving this in three ways through Schiphol Products: “Unique and proven airport solutions, developed by and at Schiphol”; Schiphol Partnership: “Joint innovation partnerships addressing the industry’s current priority areas”; and Schiphol Ventures: “Financial investments in startups that focus on specific aviation challenges.”
Arlette van der Veer, Senior Manager Radical Innovation, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, followed with a passionate presentation on the airline’s innovation ecosystem. She shared key insights into how to overcome the difficulties of innovating in the aviation industry and looked ahead to digitisation of the KLM ecosystem. The airline’s Radical Innovation has three focus areas: Enable – building innovation capabilities, Connect – boosting collaboration and sharing, and Strategize – guiding strategic innovation.
The themes explored in the presentations were then expanded on in a panel discussion moderated by Ryan Ghee, Chief Operating Officer, Future Travel Experience.
Startup pitches by Pangiam, AIrport Inspector and ABOMIS Innovations
The FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub event concluded with a series of three startup pitches. Alexis Long, Founder of Project DARTMOUTH, explained how Pangiam and Royal Schiphol Group are innovating with technology powered by artificial intelligence to develop a new way to screen hand baggage quickly and safely. Schiphol is the first major European airport to support Project DARTMOUTH, a collaboration between Pangiam and Google. Schiphol is testing the new technology in practice, in order for the system to be developed further.
Theodor Preststulen, Founder & CEO, AIrport Inspector, then highlighted how the AI-powered AIrport Inspector solution has been developed to comprehensively inspect concrete and asphalt assets in airports with 100% coverage. It tracks damages over time, measuring the rate of degradation, and pinpointing high risk damage at the earliest possible stage.
Grant Phillips, CEO, ABOMIS Innovations, delivered the final pitch. He highlighted what he described as a simpler and cheaper option to provide self-service in all airports. The ABOMIS Innovations solution enables boarding pass printing and self-tagging without a kiosk, using QR codes, personal devices and check-in counter printers.