Singapore Airlines opens digital innovation lab as it aims to be “world’s leading digital airline”


Singapore Airlines’ new digital innovation lab, KrisLab, serves as a collaborative workspace for SIA Group staff to develop innovative ideas and co-innovate with external partners, startups, established incubators and accelerators, enabling the SIA Group to fully embrace digitalisation and technology in all aspects of its business operations.

Singapore Airlines has formally opened its new digital innovation lab, called KrisLab, as part of SIA Group’s significant investment programme aimed at making it the world’s leading digital airline. The unveiling of KrisLab is in line with the airline’s Digital Innovation Blueprint, which launched in 2018.

Under the Blueprint, SIA is working to develop and nurture the digital aviation and travel technology community in Singapore, through collaborative partnerships with organisations such as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National University of Singapore (NUS) and other partners, together with support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

KrisLab serves as a collaborative workspace for SIA Group staff to develop innovative ideas and co-innovate with external partners, startups, established incubators and accelerators, enabling the SIA Group to fully embrace digitalisation and technology in all aspects of its business operations.

Blockchain, AI, data analytics and more

Among the technologies being explored by staff are blockchain, mixed reality devices, artificial intelligence and data analytics, as they develop their digital initiatives.

Goh Choon Phong, CEO, Singapore Airlines, says: “The launch of KrisLab is a significant step forward in our digital transformation journey and encapsulates our ambition to be the leading digital airline in the world.”

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“We are fully committed to further enhancing our digital capabilities by providing the right tools and infrastructure for staff to develop their ideas, as well as collaborating with external partners and startups to help solve business challenges.”

Staff may submit ideas and solutions for evaluation by the Digital Innovation Lab team based on technological and implementation readiness, as well as market and strategic attractiveness. Once an idea has been approved, seed funding along with expertise provided by the Digital Innovation Lab team is provided to help further develop it into a prototype, before moving to the implementation stage.

One of the innovations being explored at KrisLab involves the use of virtual reality (VR) technology to allow the airline’s designers to step on board and explore or change future cabin design concepts quickly. This is one of the many initiatives the airline is exploring to enhance operations and overall customer experience.

Moreover, aside from helping employees develop their innovation ideas to fruition, the Digital Innovation Lab team has been working with research institutions such as A*STAR and NUS on research in deep-tech areas. This will give SIA a competitive edge in areas such as revenue management, smart seats, virtual training, and predictive maintenance for aircraft, among others.

The design of KrisLab was conceptualised by students from LASALLE College of the Arts in a competition intended to help nurture young design talents and provide students an opportunity to translate theories learned in the classroom into practical industry experience. Students formed teams to develop their design proposals under the guidance of LASALLE lecturers who offered coaching and expert advice, before being evaluated by a panel of judges comprising design industry veterans, lecturers and senior management from SIA.

Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with Jerome Thil, Vice President Digital Innovation, Singapore Airlines, which will be published in the coming days.