Italian airport company Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) is to trial a 650m2 Innovation Hub at its Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to enable selected startups to test their products within the airport ecosystem.
The hub will be set up in partnership with the venture capital company LVenture Group and will be inaugurated at the beginning of 2022 in FCO’s Terminal 1. The startup program within the airport will consist of two phases: setup and delivery. The setup phase, lasting one month, will define all the aspects that orbit around each startup, from the introduction of the stakeholders involved, to the presentation of the assets made available by ADR. This will be followed by the delivery phase, which will entail four months of intensive business development. In this partnership, ADR will support the startups’ testing and objectives while the LVenture Group will manage the experimentation process, providing the startups with methodology and early-stage development.
To qualify for this program, the startups had to complete six challenges set by ADR. The first was to improve flight punctuality and increase airport capacity. The second centered on data-driven systems for real-time planning and management of the terminal and airside areas. Next was reducing energy consumption or increasing the amount of energy derived from renewable sources. Another challenge was to develop digital passenger services that improve the customer experience. The fifth challenge was the automation of processes or controls within the airport. ADR’s final challenge was ‘omnichannel commerce’, which required the participants to create offers that can be purchased via different devices and shops.
Emanuele Calà, vice president of innovation and quality at Aeroporti di Roma, explained. “Together with LVenture Group, we are entering the executive phase of the Open Innovation strategy, based on the desire to create an ecosystem of cooperation to achieve energy transition goals and digitalization of the airports of Fiumicino and Ciampino. Today, we are ready to engage startups by investing in their ideas within the Fiumicino Incubation Hub, not only in economic terms but above all in terms of know-how and skills, promoting and encouraging the development and growth of new companies and entrepreneurs, generating a phenomenon of contamination from which the entire national airport system benefits.”
Antonella Zullo, head of open innovation at LVenture Group, said, “We are proud to collaborate with Aeroporti di Roma in the realization of their Open Innovation strategy, providing our experience in the development of startups in the initial phases and in the creation and management of the hubs, the physical platforms that increase the influential rate functional to their growth. The innovative solutions of the startups will play a central role in the transformation of infrastructures at the service of the passenger experience and sustainability, among the great challenges of the future.”