Airport Navigation in the Metaverse for Improved Accessibility: Opportunity from Innovate UK

This Innovation Exchange challenge, delivered by Innovate UK KTN through the Global Alliance Africa project, is supporting Kenya Airways to identify innovative solutions for airport navigation via the metaverse. They would like to harness the opportunities that next generational technologies provide to improve accessibility for all travellers to navigate the complex logistics of airports.

Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 42 destinations worldwide, 35 of which are in Africa. It carries over four million passengers annually and in 2020, was named Africa’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards.

The company continues to modernize its fleet with its 32 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa. This includes its flagship B787 Dreamliner aircraft. Kenya Airways services London, Amsterdam, Guangzhou, Sharjah, Mumbai and over 25 intra-Africa routes within its passenger network.

Kenya Airways takes pride in being at the forefront of connecting Africa to the World and the World to Africa through its hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

Kenya Airways is interested in the ways next generational technologies could assist all their passengers to navigate the complex logistics of airports. They welcome ideas for innovative web, app, UI, AR, VR, XR applications that may assist elderly, anxious, less literate and disabled travellers. Mobile phone capability is envisaged for customer accessibility, possibly alongside other platforms and devices. Solutions are invited from, but not limited to, the following sectors:

  • Travel logistics
  • Data capture
  • Software development
  • Gaming
  • Hardware
  • Design
  • Assistive technology
Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to pitch their solution to Kenya Airways. The winning applicant, as selected by Kenya Airways, will get the opportunity to collaborate with them on a trial project. Up to GBP 25,000 seed funding is available (subject to T&Cs) to the successful finalist/s for this collaboration.
Rewards and Benefits
  • Up to GBP 25,000 seed funding (Subject to T&C)
  • Opportunity to pitch your solution to Kenya Airways
  • Collaboration/partnership with Kenya Airways
  • Technical support from Kenya Airways team
  • Mentorship programme facilitated by KTN
  • Sector expertise from KTN
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot
  • Invitation to attend or present at KTN events
  • Investor introductions (if investment is required)
  • Application support for any Innovate UK or similar competitions that are relevant.

Eligibility & Assessment Criteria

Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, start-ups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs
  • Africa-based entrants, UK-based entrants and those from RoW are invited to apply

Due Diligence requirements for seed funding:

  • UK applicants must ensure that receiving the £25k seed funding will not exceed the £315,000* state aid threshold under UK Minimal Financial Assistance regulations over the current and last 2 fiscal years [or *200,000 euros for applicants affected by EC de minimis regulations]
  • Further information will be required later relating to company policies, financial history and recent grant funding received.

Applications will be assessed on:

  • Relevance to the topic
  • Innovative nature of the subject
  • Coherence of the proposed business model
  • Feasibility/ economic viability
  • Development potential
  • Maturity of project/solution
  • Ability to launch project quickly/Ease of implementation
  • Price/quality ratio
  • Suitability for the Kenyan Market

Read more and Register here or more details on the challenge and application process, please register for the Information Session/Q&A here: https://bit.ly/3z5254QInformation Session – 9am BST on Tuesday, 4th April 2023 (1.5 hrs) – this will be recorded if you are unable to attend.

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