Dubai Airshow 2021 is set to host pitch competitions in partnership with major local and global aerospace entities, including Etihad Airways, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Boeing Applied Innovation.
The partnerships aim to provide disruptive startups with an opportunity to showcase their innovative technologies and creative ideas, in support of initiatives launched by the aerospace entities.
The VISTA pitch competitions will run across three categories covering areas that are key for the continued growth of the industry: sustainability, space, and innovation. Startups will be offered the opportunity to present their solutions to the aerospace ecosystem, tech leaders and investors, across two days of live pitches, in a bid to work with the industry’s leaders.
The sustainability challenge, held in conjunction with Etihad Airways, targets startups who can provide solutions that can lead to the reduction of indirect emissions, which occur throughout the entire supply chain of Etihad Airway’s ground and air operations, including cargo. The winner will be given an exclusive opportunity to pilot their idea live on Etihad’s Ecoflights plus 3 return business class tickets to any destination served by the Etihad Greenliner.
The space challenge held in conjunction with MBRSC and AWS, invites startups to develop an end-to-end deep learning or machine learning model to automatically detect all the palm trees from RGB aerial imagery, with efficient computational time. The winners of the space challenge will be given AWS credits starting from the value of US$2,500 up to US$25,000. In addition, the VISTA Innovation Cup, invites ground-breaking startups from across the globe to pitch their product or solution to have a chance to win the title of the most Innovative Startup at Vista 2021.
Tim Hawes, Managing Director at Tarsus F&E LLC, organizers of Dubai Airshow 2021, said: “Through collaborating with some of the biggest names in the aerospace industry for holding the VISTA competition, we provide startups with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from industry leaders. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to take part in supporting projects launched by global aerospace players, taking part in shaping the future of the aerospace industry, and paving the way to burgeoning their emerging startups.”
Ayal Somech, Director at Boeing’s Applied Innovation team, the Strategic Sponsor for VISTA, said, "The aerospace and defense industries thrive on innovation and Boeing is committed to finding and funding startups with the potential for developing ground-breaking technology. As a sponsor of VISTA, we look forward to meeting with and mentoring startup teams that represent the future of our industry; the innovative work they do is vital to the future of aerospace.”
The judging panel for the competitions represent global industry experts, including: Mariam AlQubaisi, Head of Sustainability and Business Excellence at Etihad Aviation Group; Terence Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand and Marketing at Etihad Airways; Alya AlMaazmi, Head of Remote Sensing Applications Unit at MBRSC; more details can be found by the Dubai Airshow website.
VISTA, co-located within Dubai Airshow 2021, is the region’s only event dedicated to aerospace startups. Launched by Dubai Airshow 2021, in partnership with Boeing Applied Innovation, VISTA will provide entrepreneurs with an unrivalled opportunity to connect with investors, partners, and mentors to launch, scale and grow their startups, and bolster the growth of the aerospace and defense industries.