Starburst Launches New Aviation Tech Accelerator in Singapore

Starburst has launched a new Aviation Tech Accelerator Program which is designed to promote technology and innovation in Singapore’s aviation industry. The program will be supported by Singapore Airlines, Panasonic Avionics Corp., ground-handling and inflight catering specialist SATS, and government agency Enterprise Singapore.

Focusing on challenge areas shared by airlines, MROs and other areas within the aviation ecosystem, the 13-week program will accelerate 10 aviation startups annually. According to Starburst, participating early-stage startups will have access to mentorship, support from Singapore government regulators and access to work with Asian venture capital companies for the seed stage, as well as a global venture capital network later on for business stages.

“These times pose an incredible opportunity for the aviation industry to pioneer boundary-pushing technological innovations,” says Francois Chopard, CEO, Starburst. He adds that Starburst hopes to help create a “thriving startup ecosystem that’s innovating the passenger experience and solving new industry challenges within Singapore.

According to Starburst, the accelerator will focus on positioning Singapore Airlines Group and SATS for the next upturn by looking at technology that will enhance passenger experience and provide peace of mind in light of the pandemic. Focus areas will include travel safety and digitalization, data security, detection of suspicious behavior, indoor tracking and augmented/virtual reality.

“Nurturing the next generation of emerging aviation technologies and talent pool is an area we are passionate about,” says George Wang, SVP information technology, Singapore Airlines. “Collaborating with startups and further elevating our strong ecosystem will help us to emerge stronger after the COVID crisis and strengthen Singapore’s position as the aviation hub in the region.”

Starburst says startups will be able to work side-by-side with Singapore Airlines’ SIA Engineering arm to solve MRO-related challenges. Under previous Starburst accelerator programs, startups have looked into artificial intelligence for predictive maintenance, digitalization of inspection processes for aircraft cabins and exteriors, drone inspection technology and other maintenance innovations.

Applications for the Aviation Tech Accelerator Program are open through Oct. 30, 2020 and the 10 finalist startups will be announced on Jan. 4, 2021.

Starburst operates a number of other international aerospace and defense accelerators, including a space-focused startup in Los Angeles and a defense-focused startup in London. While it had to move most operations online for two months at the beginning of the pandemic, its Paris and Munich hubs reopened in May and Starburst says its Tel Aviv office has remained open.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.