Singapore Airlines has announced the launch of a Digital Innovation Blueprint to support the development of a travel technology community in Singapore, and to help diversify its own product and service offerings with stronger capabilities in the digital space.
The Blueprint involves partnerships with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).
It is the latest phase in an ongoing digital transformation process at the airline, which includes training staff on digital design and agile methodologies, and the development of a Digital Innovation Lab which will bring together airline staff and start-ups, incubators and accelerators to support the rapid development and deployment of beneficial innovation.
As SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong said during the launch of the Blueprint in Singapore:
“The SIA Group has been investing heavily to enhance our digital capabilities as part of our ongoing transformation efforts, and the new bilateral partnerships announced today will take things to the next level. Our partnerships with these key agencies also signify our commitment to developing Singapore as a digital hub in the wider aviation and travel industry. With the launch of our Digital Innovation Blueprint, we aim to be the leading digital airline in the world.”
Through its partnerships with CAAS and EDB, SIA will foster a digital aviation and aerospace ecosystem with the aim to make Singapore a more attractive travel and aviation hub in Asia-Pacific. Projects will include digital initiatives that boost the industry’s capabilities and also traveller-centric initiatives that improve experience or encourage greater engagement with service and products providers at the destination. Planned projects include developing digital solutions to help personalize the end-to-end travel experience.
Other areas of research, supported by A*STAR, will include enhanced data analytics, the integration of the Internet of Things and virtual and augmented reality to further enhance aircraft maintenance. A*STAR signed a Master Research Collaboration Agreement (MRCA) with the airline.
The goal will be to boost efficiency, lower maintenance costs and decrease aircraft delays. The airline’s full-capability commercial aircraft MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) company—SIA Engineering Services—ranks among the top 20 facilities in the world.
Professor Tan Sze Wee, Executive Director, Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR, said:
“This MRCA will identify and drive the deployment of technologies in fields such as video and data analytics, virtual and augmented reality, and automated technologies to boost the efficiency of aviation operations.”
SIA also signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with three faculties in NUS—Business, Computing and Engineering—for research projects to solve long-term business challenges which have no immediate digital solutions. The partners will exchange knowledge, conduct joint research, and coordinate seminars, conferences and workshops dedicated to future digital applications in aviation and travel.
Under the second MOU, SIA and NUS will create an innovation hub and accelerator program, for start-ups and independent talent.
NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said of the partnership:
“Leveraging our strong and deep capabilities in data science, analytics, optimization, cybersecurity and automation, as well as our comprehensive innovation and enterprise networks in Singapore and the region, we hope to open new opportunities for our researchers, students and start-ups to create and commercialize disruptive technologies that could accelerate the digital transformation of Singapore’s aviation sector and redefine the air travel experience.”