• Competition encourages innovation by UAE university students
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - September 04, 2019: Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) has announced the launch of Fikra University 2019, bringing back the successful programme which fosters the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation amongst university students all over the UAE.
The third instalment of this competition invites any student currently enrolled in a university within the UAE to submit an innovative proposal under this year’s theme of ‘Seamless travel, endless possibilities’.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “At Etihad, innovation is a key driver supporting the delivery of choices and providing an improved experience for our guests. We believe that Fikra University is a wonderful initiative that empowers the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders to help shape the future of travel with us.
“The competition has received great praise from our university partners for successfully bridging the gap between academic and business environments, and we have been impressed with the calibre of students and ideas from past editions of the competition. As the national airline of UAE, Etihad is proud to play a part in the continued development of our youth.”
In the 2019 programme, students are invited to participate in teams of up to three members and innovate for the future of ‘seamless travel’. The task is simple – select a ‘traveller type’, pick a segment of their journey and propose an idea to improve the traveller experience at the chosen touchpoint. Participants with winning submissions will have the chance of receiving internship opportunities with programme partners including IBM, SAP Middle East & North Africa and Cognizant.
Submissions for the competition open on 8 September 2019, and the Fikra University organisers will be visiting a selection of universities across UAE to meet students, answer their questions and encourage participation. At the end of the submission period, six finalist teams or individuals will be selected for a three-week Boot Camp, where they will be provided with workshops, training and mentoring support to refine their proposals into feasible business cases.
All finalists will conclude their journey by presenting their ideas in front of a judging panel at a Demo Day on 15 December 2019, where a winning idea will be selected for implementation.
In the 2018 edition of Fikra University, more than 2,800 students were registered with over 400 ideas submitted, and finalists successfully completed internship programmes that led to job placements at Etihad as well as participating companies.