One hundred teams, including five from Australia and one from New Zealand, are in the hunt for the EUR 30,000 major prize in Airbus’s global student competition Fly Your Ideas.
Airbus, which runs the competition in partnership with UNESCO, whittled down the 518 original entries submitted at the end of 2014 to the top 100 that have progressed to the second round.
The remaining entries have been assigned an Airbus mentor, who will offer advice and guidance regarding their proposed innovation to advance the global aviation industry between now and April, when the top five will be selected.
Those five teams will present their idea at an Airbus event in May, where the winner will be announced.
Airbus executive vice president of engineering Charles Champion said he was impressed with the diversity of entries, noting that the top 100 teams comprised 413 students from 48 different nationalities.
Moreover, 71 per cent of teams had students from different countries, were studying different subjects and a mix of male and female members.
“It is very telling of a generation who no longer thinks in silos but instead aspires to collaborate across traditional boundaries such as gender, nationality and discipline,” Champion said in a statement on Thursday.
“This reflects Airbus’ ambition to work with greater agility across the company, and I hear our Airbus mentors and experts are very excited about the fresh way of thinking they are getting during these 100 days before the next round.”
The teams can choose to focus on one of six topics – efficiency, passenger experience, energy, affordable growth, traffic growth and community friendliness.
This is the third edition of Airbus’s Fly Your Ideas competition, which is held every second year. An Australian team from the University of Queensland took out the major prize in 2009 for its project that looked at using a natural fibre composite in aircraft cabins.