Global aircraft manufacturer Boeingannounced the launch of the Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge 1.0—a three-month accelerator programme for startups working in the area of aerospace innovation in India.
“The Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge 1.0 is our attempt to channelize India’s incredible talent and entrepreneurial energy for the future of innovation in aerospace and related areas,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India. “The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) provides a perfect backdrop for us to unleash a wave of innovation, both within and outside of Boeing.”
The challenge, said officials, will look for Indian startups that are creating disruptive solutions to tackle complex challenges in the areas of autonomous and unmanned systems, advanced manufacturing, industrial IOT and automation, analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and will be carried out in collaboration with state-backed incubator T-Hub.
Entrepreneurs will be invited to present ideas on select themes that include drones and data application, factory productivity, supply chain, aircraft maintenance and services, passenger experience, defence, commercial and industrial uses.
Boeing HorizonX ventures is the company’s new venture fund focussed on aerospace and industrial technology startup investments.
Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Ayog, stressed on the need to create unique solutions for India and also encouraged entrepreneurs to participate in the challenge.
“Hyderabad today has the capacity to combine innovation, enterprises and skills together to create products that are priced at one-tenth the cost of what they would cost in the US. I believe that all great innovations come out of challenges. Innovation also needs to be sourced for a long time so that it gets embedded in the ecosystem of the manufacturing process.”
While thanking NITI Ayog for choosing Hyderabad as the venue for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017, IT minister K T Rama Rao said “T-Hub has now become a gateway for global corporates like Boeing—to both Hyderabad and India. The fact that a company like Boeing is partnering with T-Hub in setting up an accelerator for 90 days goes to show that there is enough talent and potential in India—not just to find solutions for the Indian arm of Boeing but also on a global level.”
Currently, the Boeing HorizonX Ventures portfolio includes investments in autonomous systems technology, wearable enabled technologies, augmented reality systems, hybrid-electric propulsion, advanced materials and artificial intelligence.
Boeing has a vision to encourage a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem around the world, driven by our belief that innovation happens everywhere. There are three components to what we do at HorizonX—we have a group of individuals who are tracking disruptions in aerospace technology, a second group that is looking at new (aerospace) markets and new opportunities around the world, and a third component—the venture fund. We are excited about HorizonX’s opportunity in India,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president, Boeing HorizonX.