Airbus, TAQNIA to Launch Aviation Innovation Challenge for Saudi Youth

14.06.2016 KSA
Airbus, TAQNIA to Launch Aviation Innovation Challenge for Saudi Youth

Airbus, TAQNIA to Launch Aviation Innovation Challenge for Saudi Youth

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A nationwide hunt for the best innovators in Saudi Arabia will begin this September, following a collaboration agreement signed in Riyadh today between Airbus Middle East and TAQNIA Aeronautics, a subsidiary of Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA).

The multi-phase ‘Entaliq with Airbus’ platform will first train all interested young men and women across the Kingdom in innovation and aviation; then challenge them to advance the national aviation sector by making useful changes to existing processes, products and functions; and finally reward successful applicants with a brighter future.

“If you have a good idea that improves aviation, no matter how big or small, we want to hear from you,” said Fouad Attar, Managing Director, Airbus Middle East. “Whether it’s updating an existing process or product, or combining disparate elements into a radically different whole, we have no doubt ‘Entaliq (launch yourself) with Airbus’ will help shape the future of our industry.”

In the second, development phase, shortlisted applicants will receive online and in-person training in aviation, innovation and business planning, as well as mentoring from industry experts and veterans. The third, showcase phase of ‘Entaliq with Airbus’ will see professional juries select the best applicants to pitch their projects to an expert panel made up of Airbus, TAQNIA Aeronautics, Saudi and other industry leadership.

Additional details of each phase as well as the final phase and winner’s privileges will be unveiled closer to each significant milestone, representatives from both organizations confirmed.

“Today, innovation and entrepreneurship are too often corporate buzzwords used indiscriminately, with little thought to true commitment and in-depth application,” said Ali Milaat, General Manager of Airbus Saudi Arabia.

“Innovation is part of Airbus’ DNA, so we are both willing and able to create an open platform that will sink its roots deep and remain fruitful in the long term. We are not looking to merely write a check, but to bring our resources, expertise and commitment to bear in helping build an enduring entrepreneurial spirit to the nation,” he added.

To that end, Airbus Middle East is willing to open the Entaliq platform to aviation partners and collaborators who share its vision to encourage innovation and sustainable enterprise in Saudi Arabia.

Retired Major General Ali Alghamdi, CEO of TAQNIA Aeronautics, owned by the Public Investment Funds, said: “Economies are sustained by entrepreneurs and innovation, and we are delighted to participate in the creation of a new ecosystem that promotes these plus technology and knowledge transfer in the aviation disciplines in Saudi Arabia. We believe our youth have a great deal to contribute in this and many other industries, and look forward to working closely with our strategic partner Airbus Middle East in realizing their potential.”

“Innovation is markedly different from invention,” added Ali Alghamdi. “Successful innovators understand consumer behavior, economic patterns, business landscape and the challenge of bringing innovations to market. Together, we and Airbus Middle East will ready the ground and plant the seeds so that we can then witness significant leaps ahead,” he added.

Airbus champions innovation as part of its corporate DNA. A global leader in aerospace and aircraft manufacturing, Airbus leverages on its pioneering spirit to bring value, profitability and environmental benefits by putting innovation at the heart of everything it does.


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