Aerospace and tech students devise proposals to solve global issues such as food and water security during week-long programme.

High-flying students from 20 countries have been working together this week to produce “game-changing concepts” at the second Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy.

Summer Academy

The Summer Academy initiative is part of Airbus’ commitment to working with education to develop the skills and competencies needed for the future of the industry. The week long curriculum has been taking place this week at Cranfield University and will conclude tomorrow (Friday July 6).

It brings together students from multidisciplinary backgrounds for an intense week of activities based on the principles and methods of a business accelerator programme.

The Academy operates within the same business framework as Airbus – diverse, multidisciplinary teams work together to innovate and create value for customers and wider society. The teams were required to develop business proposals with speed and agility.

Reinventing aerospace

This year, their ideas have been focused on creating concepts and responses to the challenges of the global need to provide food and water security. This was ranked as one of the top 10 concerns of the Millennial generation in the recent Global Shapers Report by the Global World Education Forum.

The students were required to address the challenge of how to transform and reinvent aerospace to keep it relevant to global society. Intense teamwork was interspersed with a series of interactive talks on digital, emerging technology and innovative business activities. As well as aerospace and digital enthusiasts, other students were able to contribute through live-streamed sessions to hear from professionals engaged in revolutionising the sector.

Students applied recognised innovation methods to develop their proposals over the one-week programme with the support of Airbus’ engineering and digital teams and representatives from the Cranfield faculty. Each team was under the guidance of Airbus’ personnel and intrapreneurship coaches throughout the week. The week will conclude tomorrow with a pitching session to an expert jury which will be globally live-streamed.

Critical world challenges

Airbus’ Chief Human Resources Officer Thierry Baril said: “At Airbus, we believe that the technology to radically change the world is within our grasp and we will need talented people who can harness new tools, a new mindset, and work effectively in diverse and multi-disciplinary teams. The network and the skills that students will develop this week while creating imaginative and practical responses to critical world challenges will be invaluable for their future careers.”

The livestreamed talks throughout the week, as well as the final team pitches on are being hosted on the Airbus Facebook Careers.

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