Etihad Aviation Group launches second year of acclaimed ‘Fikra’ project open to all university students in the UAE
Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) has launched its Fikra University project for 2017. Fikra University is a competition which aims to foster entrepreneurship and innovation with students across the UAE.
For this second edition of Fikra University, EAG is delighted to be partnering with Abu Dhabi Airports in order to offer a more expansive aviation competition.
Fikra University provides entrepreneurial students the opportunity to put forward solutions for a range of challenges set by both EAG and Abu Dhabi Airports related to the travel and tourism industry.
Wissam Hachem, Etihad Aviation Group Vice President Learning and Development, said: “Fikra University is yet another great example of Etihad’s commitment to empowering youth and fostering a culture of innovation. The initiative has received great praise from our university partners and we are proud to have such an initiative that successfully bridges the gap between academic and commercial environments.”
The Etihad Fikra Team comprises of six young Emirati employees led by Hamood Al Toqi, who are seeking to make a difference by helping to drive innovation across different entities in EAG. Hamood AL Toqi said: “This year the competition is bigger and better, with the support of Abu Dhabi Airports, more universities taking part, and more strategic partners supporting us giving successful students more choice.”
Mohammed Al Katheeri, SVP Strategy and Planning at Abu Dhabi Airports, commented: “Abu Dhabi Airports is eager to take part in initiatives that will support the development of the national aviation talent, sustaining the growth of our aviation industry. We are excited to partner with EAG in the Fikra University, and look forward to the ambitious and forward thinking strategies and ideas that we will receive from the candidates and to their implementation across our airports’ facilities.”
The 2017 edition of Fikra will focus on digital evolution for airlines and airports, free zone development ancillary sales opportunities, improving loyalty, e-commerce, cargo tracking, use of virtual reality and re-design of seats using latest technology.
There is also a special category called ‘Out of the Box’ that allows students to deliver their own take on a game-changing idea in the airline or airport space.
Successful applicants who delivered creative and value-adding ideas will be rewarded with internship positions with some of Etihad’s and Abu Dhabi Airports’ key strategic suppliers including CAE Inc, Cognizant, IBM, Rockwell Collins SAP, Recaro Aircraft Seating, Stelia Aerospace, Thales Avionics and Zodiac Aerospace.
All applicants will also be automatically enrolled in a raffle with a chance to win some fantastic ‘money can’t buy’ experiences.
Last year more than 18 UAE universities took part in the competition with 6,500 students registering. This year we are partnering with 27 universities and expect the programme to be bigger and better. The quality of submissions in our first year surpassed expectations. The ideas from last year’s ten finalists are all in the process of implementation across EAG’s operations.
More information about the universities taking part and the Fikra competition is available on the dedicated website at www.fikra.ae.