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Lufthansa and SAP kick-off the world’s first “Aviation Blockchain Challenge”

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The idea contest from the Lufthansa Innovation Hub and SAP.iO Berlin Foundry seeks blockchain-based solutions that make the traveller’s customer experience, processes, supply chains, and maintenance procedures at airlines smoother, safer and more interconnected. Ideas can be submitted in three categories until August 31, 2018.

Participants can further develop their ideas in exchange with experts from the Lufthansa Group and SAP and apply for a specific pilot project within the context of the “Lufthansa Innovation Forum”.

Whether it’s information technology, automotive development, or civil aviation, blockchain drives decision-makers in numerous industries. After all, the underlying technology has the potential to fundamentally change processes and value chains. While the financial sector is, for instance, already offering initial applications, travel- and mobility-related players are only beginning to develop decentralised networks. Occasionally, solutions meant to have a lasting impact on the value chain of airlines do not reach market maturity. It is with this in mind that the “Aviation Blockchain Challenge” announced by Lufthansa Innovation Hub and SAP.iO Berlin Foundry aims to explore the potential of blockchain technology in the aviation context.

“Blockchain is one of the game-changing technologies of our time, which we are systematically addressing as part of our digital strategy for the Lufthansa Group. We look forward to discussing innovative solutions and initiating experiments together with our partner SAP at the Aviation Blockchain Challenge. By combining our aviation industry expertise with the blockchain technology of a world market leader, we are creating the ideal worldwide framework for addressing blockchain entrepreneurs with an affinity for travel and mobility,” explains Thorsten Dirks, member of the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and in charge of Eurowings and Aviation Services.

Deepak Krishnamurthy, chief strategy officer and executive vice president, SAP, is co-sponsoring the first Aviation Blockchain Challenge. He said, “SAP is excited to partner with Lufthansa on this startup innovation challenge to reinvent the traveler experience, airline operations and supply chain with Blockchain. With our industry leading SAP Leonardo Blockchain platform and Lufthansa’s market leadership and expertise in Aviation, we can foster a new innovation ecosystem that can potentially transform the entire travel industry.”

Winning teams can get access to Blockchain-as-a-Service from SAP in order to build or improve their MVP and can utilise Lufthansa Group’s industry access to all major areas of the aviation ecosystem to push their projects forward. The offer is rounded out by a targeted mentoring program in which selected participants are supported by experts from the Lufthansa Innovation Hub and SAP.iO Berlin Foundry in the further development of their solutions.

Applicants can compete in three different categories:

1. Traveller challenge

In this category, ideas are sought along the entire travel chain that offer clear added value for travelers – from booking and purchasing flights to loyalty programs and airport identification. The overriding goal is to make the travel experience more efficient and seamless.

2. Airline challenge

In this category, ideas are sought that improve airline specific operations and related processes, for example by optimizing the sharing of data across company and departmental boundaries.

3. Supplier challenge

This category is about ideas that have the potential to rethink maintenance and related aspects of the aviation supply chain – from document tracking and digitisation to the transparent verification of documentation.

The best three ideas per category will first be nominated for the mentoring programme, which will start in September 2018. On October 23, 2018, teams will have the opportunity to pitch for a further collaboration at the Lufthansa Innovation Forum at Lufthansa’s headquarters in Frankfurt am Main.

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