With the deadline approaching for the 2019 Hangar 51 applications, we sit down with Carly Morris, Head of Innovation at IAG Cargo, to discuss this year’s accelerator, what start-up success looks like and what other upcoming technologies are on the IAG Cargo horizon.
Looking at the marketplace right now, is there a start-up that fascinates you?
I love to keep an eye on those start-ups who are working on concepts that could really change the way the world works, even if today they seem a little far-fetched. In the logistics industry, there are a few companies out there who are developing air drones capable of carrying huge payloads of cargo, a concept that, if successful, could change the way our industry operates forever! There are actually several great examples of start-ups making inroads into tackling logistics issues, whether it is What3words, an algorithm software designed to simplify GPS locations for supporting delivery methods, to Fizyr a deep learning algorithm that is bringing autonomous decision making to robotics.
What type of start-up concept would you love to see this year?
On the operational side of our business, I’d love to see start-ups who could introduce us to more robotics and automation, as this is a very complex subject for innovation yet an exciting one. On the commercial side of our business, I’d love to see start-ups who have interesting concepts to share regarding customer experience, new products and services, data and analytics and marketing. Anything that will help us work smarter, more efficiently and to the benefit of our customers.
What was behind the decision to host the accelerator in Spain?
IAG Cargo is a global business with international hubs in London, Madrid and Dublin. Our innovation activities span the entire globe, so hosting the accelerator in Spain this year works perfectly for us, particularly considering the wealth of start-up communities and networks that have emerged in Spain’s major cities.
For the successful candidates, what is IAG Cargo going to do to support them?
Successful candidates will have the opportunity to work with one of the world’s leading air cargo carriers to test and improve their product or service over the course of the 10-week accelerator programme. They will be supported by senior leadership mentors with a wealth of knowledge to share, as well as the Innovation team to guide them through proof-of-concept trials. Our colleagues and customers are always excited to hear about the innovative concepts we are working on, so successful applicants will also be able to share stories of their participation with the world.
Have you continued working with any of last year’s applicants?
A great collaboration that emerged from last year’s programme was with Emu Analytics, with whom we have continued to work over the course of 2019 to build on what was achieved during the programme. Emu Analytics worked with us to implement a highly intuitive, real-time vehicle telematics analysis and data visualisation solution, which allowed us to increase efficiency in our airside operation, manage our partner relationships and alert us to any issues.
Apart from Hangar 51, what other things are IAG Cargo working on?
The fun never stops when it comes to Innovation at IAG Cargo! We’re currently working on some exciting trials to test drones in our warehouses for inventory management, using volumetric scanning technology to measure freight and tracking technology to provide data on our airport assets. We’re also exploring some new emerging technologies and developing corporate partnerships with other innovation organisations.
Have you got any advice for start-ups applying?
No matter what your product or service, the key to a good application is to think carefully about where your solution could be applied in our business and tell us the value it could bring, even better if you can show us how you would propose to test your product over the 10-week programme. We also love a video or photos to bring your application to life and show us what your solution can do!
Applications for Hangar 51 close on the Friday 2nd of August, don’t miss out on your chance to apply, and you could be heading to the pitch day in Madrid.