Innovation alone is not enough to deliver results for aviation. According to Stephan Copart, IATA’s Head Strategy, Financial and Distribution Services, transformation also needs to happen faster.
Without this crucial ingredient:
Solutions and technologies may become obsolete before full implementation
- Investments will not realize their benefits quickly enough
- New entrants will be blocked by a legacy environment
- Innovation will be driven by third parties at the expense of industry standards and jeopardizing industry effectiveness and competitiveness.
“Our transformation initiatives can take 7–10 years before mass adoption by the industry,” says Copart. “As an example, the Electronic Miscellaneous Document project, piggybacking on e-ticketing, had not delivered all its promised benefits before the solution became obsolete and was replaced by the ONE Order initiative.”
To make sure the industry will realize all the benefits of innovative initiatives before they become obsolete, we need to design a much faster innovation cycle
Similarly, the Fast Travel project struggled to reach 40% adoption before mobile and digital identity solutions overtook kiosks and passport scanners.
Copart says that the industry needs to develop greater agility and open standards. The new transformation model needs to be based on committed industry leaders taking the risks but also realizing benefits earlier than others; and followers who will embrace the change at their own pace when solutions are more mature.
To support this strategy, IATA has developed an Innovation Ecosystem that provides the necessary infrastructure to deliver transformation with speed.
“To make sure the industry will realize all the benefits of innovative initiatives before they become obsolete, we need to design a much faster innovation cycle,” Copart says. “As a vision, IATA is building an open and innovative ecosystem that enables significant acceleration of our industry initiatives while stimulating new entrants. This ecosystem will enable innovation cycles that could be as short as one year from problem statement to early adoption.”
The innovation ecosystem will be articulated around three main objectives:
- Open innovation with new entrants and disruptors
- Accelerated innovation through networked incubation and funding
- Innovation speed to market with industry mobilization and adoption
There are seven major streams: ideate; develop and test; incubate; fund; implement; communicate; and partnership.
Innovation sprints will let the industry reach clearly defined goals and deliverables and gain key learnings, quickly
IATA is leveraging such existing innovation tools as hackathons, events, and industry data models. It is also building any missing platforms and tools, including a development hub and open API framework, and will utilize member airlines’ innovation structures where appropriate.
“In the context of standard development, the IATA Innovation Ecosystem will foster industry innovation processes to answer critical business questions through rapid ideation, prototyping, solution development, and user testing,” concludes Copart. “Innovation sprints will let the industry reach clearly defined goals and deliverables and gain key learnings, quickly. The solution designed to solve the issue presented in the problem statement should be ready for early adoption by the industry at the end of the innovation sprint.”