Innovation challenge calls for artificial intelligence solutions in aviation

Innovation challenge calls for artificial intelligence solutions in aviation
© Ronnie Robertson

The UK-Canada Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovation Challenge calls on technology developers to pursue artificial intelligence solutions in aviation.

Stakeholders in the AI Innovation Challenge believe that artificial intelligence solutions in aviation could make operating aircraft less costly and more environmentally friendly, and could optimise performance by improving the systems used to prevent the build-up of ice on aircraft wings, among other potential innovations.

Applicants will be invited to pitch their ideas to leading aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, to bid for a share of £100,000 in funding. The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has contributed £30,000 to the AI Innovation Challenge, while private sponsors having contributed the remaining funds.

How will the AI Innovation Challenge contribute to research partnerships between the UK and Canada?

The challenge has been organised by Canada’s UK Science and Innovation Network, the Consortium in Aerospace and Research & Innovation in Canada, Bombardier, and the UK’s Digital Catapult, with the aim of encouraging the sharing of best practice and skills, and well as increasing trade opportunities between the two nations.

Both the UK and Canada are considered world leaders in the development of AI technologies, and hope to support collaboration between SMEs, startups, research and development centres and Bombardier, one of the world’s largest aerospace companies.

What have stakeholders said about the innovation challenge?

The UK’s business secretary, Greg Clark, welcomed the opportunity for UK companies to benefit from funding, while also delivering innovation in the aerospace sector. He said: “This is a unique chance for the best and the brightest minds in artificial intelligence to come up with revolutionary ways to help aircraft operators to burn less fuel and cut costs.”

He went on to emphasise that the relationship between the UK and Canada could also strengthen the ability of innovators to deliver change: “Science and innovation has no borders, with most of the world’s best discoveries made through international and interdisciplinary collaborations. I have no doubt that working alongside Canadian researchers and innovators, UK experts will generate inspiring new approaches to this emerging technology.”

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