Aeroporti di Roma Innovation Hub launches second ‘Call for Ideas’ from startups: “putting the passenger at the centre by anticipating their needs”


Emanuele Calà, Vice President of Innovation & Quality, Aeroporti di Roma: “After the successful first ‘Call for Ideas’ it’s always much harder to replicate, but the goal is always to bring value to both our company and the startups we want to focus on this year. To do that, we have fine-tuned both our deal and the contracts for future eventual roll-out of the solutions. Our main goal is putting the passenger at the centre by anticipating their needs.”

Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), a Corporate Partner of the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub, has launched a second ‘Call for Ideas’ from startups. After the success of the first ‘Call for Ideas’, which saw the implementation of 10 projects selected from over 100 applications, this new round of ADR’s acceleration programme will offer eight successful applicants the opportunity to work on their projects directly from the ADR Innovation Hub, which was inaugurated in October 2022 and is located at the heart of Rome Fiumicino Airport’s Terminal 1.

“After the successful first ‘Call for Ideas’ it’s always much harder to replicate, but the goal is always to bring value to both our company and the startups we want to focus on this year,” explains Emanuele Calà, Vice President of Innovation & Quality, Aeroporti di Roma. “To do that, we have fine-tuned both our deal and the contracts for future eventual roll-out of the solutions. Our main goal is putting the passenger at the centre by anticipating their needs.”

There is a maximum investment of €105,000 per startup and the possibility of contracting their solution up to a maximum of €2 million.

Startups from all over the world with a product or solution to test at Rome Fiumicino Airport can apply by clicking here. The deadline for applications is 16 February 2023.

“We don’t like to set boundaries,” says Calà. “All startups from around the world can apply, but we are certainly looking for companies that have already defined their product/service and welcome the opportunity to fine-tune them with our ‘Innovation Cabin Crew’ during the months of our programme.”

The acceleration period will last for a maximum of eight months, with the ‘Call for Ideas’ focused on eight areas:

  • Predictive maintenance: solutions that enable preventive maintenance through the use of innovative technologies.
  • Enhance terminal processes: solutions that enable more efficient/effective processes.
  • Improve airside operations: solutions that improve aircraft turnaround.
  • Environmental impact: solutions that aim to reduce environmental impact and energy consumption.
  • Community & sustainability: solutions that create value for the territory, local communities and environment.
  • Passenger experience: solutions that increase the quality offered to passengers, not only at the airport but also before and after the flight.
  • Commercial opportunities: solutions aimed at increasing sales opportunities.
  • Disruptive solutions: a free area where any startup can propose a solution without any thematic constraints.
Interested in joining the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub as a Corporate Partner?
Contact us for more information >>
The new round of the Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) acceleration programme will offer eight successful applicants the opportunity to work on their projects directly from the ADR Innovation Hub, which was inaugurated in October 2022 and is located at the heart of Rome Fiumicino Airport’s Terminal 1.

“A constant improvement approach that allows us to set new standards”

Successful applicants will receive the support of mentors from the ADR ‘Innovation Cabin Crew’ and during the ‘Runway to the Future’ programme startups will have the opportunity to get in touch with national and international partners, and work with a network of airports focused on innovation within an environment entirely dedicated to startups.

“One of the main upgrades for this year is that we have six corporate partners, which are the best in their industry, to scale-up the selection and share their know-how directly with startups,” says Calà.

Indeed, the number of partners supporting the ‘Call for Ideas’ is growing and includes the Plug and Play Tech Center – an important private investor in startups in Silicon Valley with more than 60,000 startups in its portfolio; ‘Airports for Innovation’ – a network dedicated to innovation launched in 2021 by ADR and Aena, which has now been joined by other international airports; and major national and international business partners.

“We believe in a constant improvement approach that allows us to set new standards for the airports and hopefully for the industry,” Calà explains. “In the last months, in accordance with all the business units of ADR, we are working on an automatic solution for Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRMs), autonomous delivery for retail, enhanced customer care and wayfinding, and a unique airside solution that we are piloting for all our stakeholders such as airlines and ground handlers.”

Interested in joining the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub as a Corporate Partner?
Contact us for more information >>
In September 2022, Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) adopted a new fully autonomous delivery robot from startup company Ottonomy – one of 10 startups selected to take part in ADR’s acceleration programme ‘Runway to the Future’. Passengers can scan a QR code to purchase food & beverage and retail items at the airport and have them delivered right up to the gate in a digital and completely frictionless experience.

FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub: “a real outside the box approach”

Aeroporti di Roma is a Corporate Partner of the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub, which Calà adds is an important platform to share expertise, discover new partners, collaborate and deliver positive change. “We had the opportunity to join a great team in the FTE Hub, with a real outside the box approach and the aim of having all partners and prospects at the same table. At the end of the day, most of us are working on the same topics and tech, and even some technology such as biometrics can’t rely on a single touchpoint, so collaboration is a real key aspect that FTE is fulfilling successfully.”

If you’re interested in joining the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub and playing an active role in our unique digital transformation and innovation community, please contact us here and we will be happy to share more information.


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