This is a programme designed to identify and attract the talent of young university students via proposing and resolving real challenges in the aeronautics sector.
AERTEC Challenge’s goal is to maintain a long-term relationship between the university and the company to offer students the chance to work within the framework of a real technological problem and real business. In this way, young university students can participate in a project that could be transferred to industry instead of sitting in a laboratory or research centre.
This programme offers grants for university students who can participate with their ideas and their innovative drive in the development of innovative and disruptive solutions for use in some of the main areas of the industry, particularly related to air transport and aerospace and defence systems.
AERTEC Challenge began in 2016 with the intention of launching a new challenge every year.
Each annual challenge has two phases. In phase one, participants meet in teams to generate business ideas related to the proposed challenge.
In this disruptive innovation competition, a jury of experts from the sector and in innovation select the finalist teams which move on to the next stage. This second phase involves a total immersion process where their entrepreneurial ideas evolve with the support of business, technology and design specialists, and mentored by AERTEC experts. As a result of this process, a specialised jury chooses the AERTEC Challenge winning team.
The programme’s first challenge took place in 2016 and was aimed at studying the feasibility of increasing the distance in ground-to-air transmissions between the ground station and unmanned aircraft systems. The high-tech, light tactical RPAS designed by AERTEC were used as the reference platform to propose solutions and evaluate results.
The second AERTEC Challenge was to identify and propose disruptive business ideas for services that use RPAS (Remotely Piloted Air Systems). As a starting point, we proposed using one or more RPAS in combination with one or more ground stations, operating in coordination to provide the service.
Participants were recommended to make proposals using mobile phone technology as one of their main elements, and not to allow current RPAS flight legislation to limit their proposals.
The winner was “Crop Eye”, which used RPAS in automated and connected ways for surveillance and study of large areas.
The third AERTEC Challenge addressed the use of technology in airport environments and, specifically, on improving passenger experience. The proposal was to be based on the use of the massive amount of data generated by a variety of existing sources throughout an airport, its analysis, its combination and its application to various solutions.
The winning idea was “Avifly”, focusing on online and autonomous handling of all boarding processes to minimise the times between a passenger’s point of departure and destination.
The fourth AERTEC Challenge proposed continuing the challenge of improving passenger experience within airports.
Specifically, participants were asked to propose business ideas that would contribute to improving passenger experience in airports of the future, using as a starting point, using and taking advantage of the massive amounts data that are generated in an airport, from existing systems and technologies, or those that could be implemented in the next few years.
“PAD” was the winning idea that went on to participate in Imagine Express 2020 and finally winning in the Mobility category.
The challenges are resolved in two phases:
The Dream Big AERTEC Challenge
All participants meet in teams to generate business ideas to resolve the technological challenge proposed for the upcoming edition. In this disruptive innovation competition, a jury of experts from the sector and in innovation choose the finalist teams to move on to the next phase.
Hackathon Aertec Challenge
The Dream Big finalist teams are gathered together in a total immersion process to evolve their entrepreneurial ideas with the support of business, technology and design specialists, and the mentoring of AERTEC experts. A jury of specialised experts chooses the AERTEC Challenge winning team.
Pedro Pablo Sánchez