✓ Startups from all over the world will be able to develop projects and prototypes directly in the terminal buildings, working alongside airport experts and passengers.
✓ Around 100 startups took part in the first Call for Ideas, with 10 selected and a further 3 innovative businesses added by ADR. Most startuppers are under 30.
✓ Project partners include Plug and Play, one of largest early-stage investors in Silicon Valley, PWC and LVenture Group.
All the startups’ projects were presented last October 17th during the official opening of the Innovation Hub, who hosted a discussion on the topic of innovation with the startuppers in attendance, led by the Chairman of Edizione, Alessandro Benetton https://www.linkedin.com/in/alessandrobenetton/, together with the Managing Director, Co-Head EMEA of Plug and Play, Omeed Mehrinfar, and Chiara Piacenza, Scientist, ISS Science & Utilization Planning at ESA. At the event attended also the Chief Executive Officer of Edizione, Enrico Laghi, the Chairman of Atlantia, Giampiero Massolo, and the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of Aeroporti di Roma, Claudio De Vincenti and Marco Troncone.
“ADR’s Innovation Hub marks a new, open approach to the way our Group intends to provide strategic guidance to investees, investing significantly in innovation and sustainability and, above all, providing openings for anyone with ideas, projects and willing to take a risk. Watching young people, from both Italy and other parts of the world, working with their startups at the heart of Fiumicino airport, engaging with passengers and talking to airport experts gives a clear indication of how we can build the future by nurturing new skills and through exposure to a wide range of knowledge and experiences. This is how, by working closely with all our partners, we want to build a new “Made in Italy”, making our country more attractive to young talent and creating new jobs through investment and by internationalizing our know-how,” said the Chairman of Edizione, Alessandro Benetton.
In the Innovation Hub there’s a robot that delivers food and beverages to passengers anywhere in the airport and another, powered by solar energy, that moves autonomously cleaning the terminals as it goes and, once at rest, turns into a comfortable bench to sit on. Then there’s a self-driving wheelchair, capable of transporting travellers with reduced mobility from the terminal entrance to their gate. There are also new and untested solutions that use artificial intelligence to make security checks and baggage handling faster and more efficient, and others that make aircraft turnarounds more sustainable, cutting C02 emissions. These are just a few of the projects developed by Italian and international startups working at the Innovation Hub located within Leonardo da Vinci airport, an initiative launched by Aeroporti di Roma as part of its open innovation strategy for airport services and operations.
Unique in Europe, the Innovation Hub is nothing less than a business accelerator, focusing on the development of innovative solutions for airports and located in a 650-square meter facility in the middle of Terminal 1 in the country’s number one airport.