Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy

Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy offers students the opportunity to innovate in diverse teams to tackle a global challenge, harnessing emerging digital technologies and developing professional skills valuable in this exciting industry.


The 2018 edition runs from Sunday 1 to Friday 6 July and is hosted by Cranfield University, UK.

The Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy is a unique student experience based on the principles and methods of a business concept accelerator, and a microcosm of Airbus itself. Just as the company forms diverse, multidisciplinary teams to create value for our customers and society overall, diverse student teams will develop business proposals to address a major global challenge in an intense, agile and dynamic way.

Taking inspiration from Airbus business pioneers as well as from current Airbus experts in engineering and digital technologies, students will apply state of the art innovation methods to develop their proposals. Each team will benefit from the guidance of specialized Airbus innovation and intrapreneurship coaches throughout the week which will culminate in a pitching session to a distinguished jury.

The Academy is where future aerospace professionals will learn how to keep aerospace relevant to society, transforming and reinventing the industry from the inside. They will discover their strengths, create new competences and see for themselves how they can leverage the rich assets of a global giant such as Airbus to positively impact billions of people around the globe.

“Joining the Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy is a once in a lifetime experience." – 2018 Airnovator

The week-long event was filled with stimulating talks; numerous exchanges between Airnovation Faculty and students; and intense learning, concept development and pitch preparation using techniques such as Design Thinking and the Business Model Canvas.

On the last day, 48 students from 20 countries in 6 multidisciplinary teams pitched their proposals for game changing concepts linked to the global need for food and water security to an expert Jury. The team with the winning proposal was NAVgreen and the team winning the audience vote for the quality of their pitch was team reWATER.

The final pitches and award ceremony are available to watch on the Videos section of the Airbus Careers Facebook page:

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You can find all our live coverage of the 2018 edition on social media using #Airnovation2018


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Programme Highlights

Over the weeklong programme, students will be introduced to the same ‘design sprint’ methodology used within Airbus to create potential new businesses to address a specific social challenge. Teams will learn how to develop a value proposition then use design thinking and value system mapping to develop a viable concept and finally prototype and pitch their business model.

Intense teamwork will be interspersed with an energising series of livestreamed, interactive talks from the Airbus pioneers behind Nav Blue, Urban Air Mobility and OneWeb Satellites, plus a trip to the ‘birthplace of digital problem solving’, the famous Bletchley Park codebreaker facility. The final team pitches to a VIP Jury will also be livestreamed, and Airnovation supporters from around the world are warmly encouraged to interact with the teams as they present their work and celebrate the culmination of a week of steep learning, networking and Airnovation.

About Cranfield

Cranfield is creating leaders in technology and management

Cranfield University, a founder member of the AGUPP University network is proud to host the 2018 Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy, and looks forward to welcoming the Airnovators to their truly unique learning environment. The only dedicated postgraduate University in the UK, Cranfield’s world-class programs, unrivalled facilities, close links with business, industry and governments and an international outlook, all combined to attract students and teaching staff from around the globe.

Their masters and research degrees are informed by industry and focus on the specialist themes of aerospace, defence and security, energy and power, environment and agrifood, manufacturing, transport systems, and water. Cranfield’s School of Management is globally recognized for its excellence in leadership development and real-world focus.

The Future of Aerospace

We are at the cusp of a third revolution in flight. That’s why at Airbus, we are laser focused on specific research and development areas that are going to be the key drivers in shaping the future of aerospace and improving the way we live, travel, and interact.

Through our global innovation centres, venture capital fund, and aerospace accelerators, we collaborate with the brightest minds to tackle big problems with novel insights to make the world a more connected, prosperous, and safer place.

By funding and supporting start-ups and SMEs, we contribute to accelerating innovation in aerospace. Innovation happens when great ideas, people, and challenges intersect. At Airbus, we make these intersections happen. The result: breakthrough innovations that positively impact the world and ignite excitement and passion for aerospace.

The first edition of the Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy took place from 3-8 July 2016 at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, and was launched in partnership with Airbus Corporate Innovations and Airbus Employment Marketing.

Airnovation Summer Academy

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