Dubai Launches “Aviation X-Lab”

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Emirates Airline and a consortium of industry partners have launched an effort to build the “world’s first sector-wide [Aviation] Experimental (X) Lab to co-create the next era of human transportation,” the airline announced on Wednesday. The Aviation X-Lab, based at a Dubai think tank called Area 2071, will bring together airlines, manufacturers, engineers, academics and startups under a single roof to envision a “new transportation paradigm,” the airline said. Teams from around the world will meet in Dubai each April to pitch their concepts to address that year’s challenge. The selected teams then will spend a full year in Dubai working with industry executives and academics to develop new technologies and business theories, run experiments and design prototypes.

The first challenge will be announced in September. “With the addition of the Aviation X-Lab, Dubai is further proving itself as the largest X-Lab in the world,” said Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi, minister of cabinet affairs. “We are proud to share our experience with aviation, as home to the world’s international largest airline, with the aviation community.” The X-Lab is part of the United Arab Emirates Centennial Plan 2071, the naming of which signifies 100 years since the formation of the UAE. The plan seeks to invest primarily in the youth of the UAE and “to work for UAE to be the best nation in the world by 2071,” according to the Emirates news release.

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