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Featured image: Airbus BizLab, Make-IT in Africa, MEST and Innocircle representatives (Supplied)

Airbus opens call to startups for second edition of its Africa4Future accelerator

Got a tech solution that can help address a problem with the aerospace sector? Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has launched the second edition of its Africa4Future initiative and is calling on African tech startups to apply to join its six-month long acceleration programme.

The joint accelerator programme is run by Airbus’ global aerospace accelerator BizLab and Make-IT in Africa, an initiative of the German Agency for International Co-operation (GIZ).

Startups that are working on solutions related to areas including: unmanned logistics and remote-sensing technology, automation and drones, electrification, blockchain, artificial intelligence, data analytics and material composites and manufacturing — can all apply.

The Africa4Future initiative will see 10 African startups enter a six-month long acceleration programme that is run by Airbus BizLab, Make-IT in Africa, MEST and Innocircle

In a statement today (31 October), Airbus said applications for the joint programme, which will be implemented by MEST and Cape Town-based innovation consultancy Innocircle, will close on 31 November. Thereafter, following a review process, 10 startups will be selected to join the programme which kicks off on 7 January.

Selected teams will receive:

  • Access to industry-leading experts at Airbus sites in Europe.
  • Feedback on their technology and business models from top engineers.
  • The opportunity to showcase their startups at the Paris International Airshow in June 2019.
  • The opportunity to launch a collaboration project in partnership with key Airbus departments.

Those teams selected will also receive space within MEST Incubators in Accra (Ghana), Lagos (Nigeria), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Cape Town (South Africa) or Nairobi (Kenya) from January to June 2019, where they will have the opportunity to become part of the vibrant, global MEST tech startup community.

During the program, the 10 selected teams will participate in a mix of virtual and physical workshops. international travel, accommodation, and food will be covered for one person per team, for all workshops.

Workshops with travel covered include:

  • 15-17 January: Kick-off in Nigeria
  • 4-17 March: Workshop in Europe at Airbus
  • 13-24 May: Workshop in South Africa
  • 19-26 June: DemoDay at the Paris International Airshow (France) and CeBit Hannover (Germany)

Airbus releases white paper

The call for startups comes as yesterday Airbus release a white paper on the role of aerospace technologies and their impact on socio-economic development in Africa (the paper is titled The Great Enabler: Aerospace in Africa).

The extensive report looks at how different segments of the industry can address a core set of challenges on the continent by increasing access to healthcare.

This, it suggests can be done by making African agriculture more competitive and sustainable, promoting education, training and innovation, empowering businesses with innovative products and solutions, as well as by breaking down barriers to the movement of people and goods across Africa.

First launched last year, the #Africa4Future initiative was created by Airbus BizLab with the objective of encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship in Africa.

Through the Africa4future initiative Airbus seeks to build bridges between the aerospace industry and the different players in Africa.

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Read more: Airbus accelerator scouts aerospace startups from East and Southern Africa

Featured image: Airbus BizLab, Make-IT in Africa, MEST and Innocircle representatives. They include Airbus BizLab head Bruno Gutierres (sixth from right) and MEST managing director Aaron Fu (third from right) (Supplied)