Lufthansa Technik Philippines Accelerates Tech Startups

Credit: Seedstars/Lufthansa Technik Philippines

Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) is working with several new startups to cultivate innovative technologies for the MRO industry.

The MRO launched its LTP Startup Challenge in August in partnership with startup accelerator Seedstars. On Oct. 11 it held a hybrid pitch competition at its Villamor Air Base headquarters in the Philippines, where 12 selected startup companies pitched their technologies to an LTP judging panel. According to Natnicha Lertplakorn, Seedstars’ program manager for Asia, the LTP Startup Challenge is the first aviation startup accelerator program focused specifically on MRO.

LTP was looking for startups that provide technology to address a wide variety of areas, such as reducing laborious and repetitive tasks, real-time tracking of tools and materials, digital and automated aircraft inspections, and smart technologies to improve workplace safety and quality.

Following a four-day training program with LTP’s subject matter experts and the pitch event, LTP chose four winning startups: Aiir Innovations, Augmenteed, Block Aero and Evitado Technologies.

Winners of the LTP Startup Challenge with the judging panel
Winners of the LTP Startup Challenge with the judging panel.
Credit: Seedstars/Lufthansa Technik Philippines

Dutch startup Aiir Innovations utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) for automated borescope inspections. Its software can detect defects, count the number of blades that have been observed and perform speed analysis on blades. Findings of inspections can be viewed and shared by multiple parties via its Aiir Review online platform. The technology has been trialed by companies including easyJet, KLM, KLM E&M and MTU Maintenance. Earlier this year, it began a partnership with non-destructive testing specialist Waygate Technologies to incorporate its AI technology into the Everest Mentor Visual iQ VideoProbe borescope.

Founded in 2019, Singapore-based Augmenteed provides a process management software platform to help companies digitize their workflows. It says the platform can be used to optimize and automate processes, train technicians more efficiently via augmented reality and provide remote expert guidance for technicians. Augmenteed says its platform enables companies to create their own procedures within hours without the need for coding and deploy them for mobile applications, such as maintenance, inspection and training.

Thailand-based Block Aero says it has commercialized the first blockchain-based asset management solution for the aviation industry. The platform creates a digital twin of physical assets, such as aircraft, engines, parts and ground support equipment. Industry stakeholders—such as airlines, MROs, lessors, OEMs and regulators—can interact with these digital twins, accessing data related to maintenance, compliance, design, logistics and other areas. Block Aero has previously won other aviation industry competitions, such as the Rolls-Royce Blockchain Innovation Challenge and the ST Engineering award at the 2019 SLINGSHOT competition in Singapore.

German startup Evitado Technologies focuses on automating airside operations. Earlier this year at MRO Americas it displayed its ELVIZ product—a portable, LiDAR-based system that can be installed on aircraft tow vehicles to provide collision warnings and data intelligence. ELVIZ uses software to recognize aircraft types and track their movements, which Evitado says is similar to parking assist technology used in cars. The startup also signed a strategic partnership agreement at MRO Americas with HYDRO Systems KG to deploy its solutions at MROs, FBOs and airports.

LTP’s selected winners will now be flown to its headquarters to collaborate directly with the MRO on technology applications and improvements.

The other startups chosen out of more than 100 applications to participate in the LTP Startup Challenge were: AppSteer, DataMesh, HACARUS, Mowito, Pinmicro, qualiTEAS, Telepresenz and Xennial Digital.

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.