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UK-based SITA Air Transport Community Foundation has partnered with Wits University and the Tshimologong Precinct to launch a $10 000 travel innovation award.
The challenge? What information, tools or technology will first-time air travellers in Africa need to make their journeys easy, successful and enjoyable?
The team that comes up with the best solution will be awarded with the SITA Air Transport Community Foundation Innovation Award and will receive a $10 000 cash prize.
The innovation challenge is open to Wits students and active members of the Tshimologong Precinct.
Each team — comprising of between two and five members — needs to submit an initial two-minute video after attending a drop-in session on 27 March to better understand the issue, project and overall requirements.
Thereafter, teams will have until 24 April to submit their videos, after which a shortlist of finalists will be announced on 2 May.
The SITA Air Transport Community Foundation Innovation Award is open to Wits students and members of the Tshimologong Precinct
Submissions can include a well-defined proof of concept; data modelling and recommendations based on data analysis, detailed research with recommendations for future activities, and the use of technology to address the issue.
Preliminary judging will take place in early July, after which final presentations and judging will be concluded at an award ceremony to be held on 20 July.
‘New generation of travellers’
In a statement yesterday, Tshimologong Precinct partner engagement manager Itumeleng Dhlamini said SITA — an air transport IT and communications specialist — had taken Africa’s predicted growth over the next 20 years, increasing penetration of mobile and digital technologies in setting the challenge.
“SITA wanted to offer up the challenge to the people most likely to make up this new generation of air travellers,” said Dhlamini.
Amber Harrison, director of corporate social responsibility at SITA, said the aim of the SITA Air Transport Community Foundation is to provide ICT and education for learners in Africa, and to help build key skills for the next generation.
“We created this Innovation Award to highlight the challenges and opportunities for a continent that is seeing a changing demographic coupled with growth in technology and aviation. It will provide a unique perspective for these future travellers to consider each touchpoint of air travel – from booking to navigating airports, boarding, and arriving at their destination,” said Harrison.
“We’re delighted to be working with Wits and Tshimologong to run this initiative,” she added.