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Khalfan Belhoul

Finland firm wins Aviation X Lab Traveler Wellbeing Challenge

DUBAI, March 3, 2021

AREA 2071, Dubai Future Foundation’s (DFF) innovation ecosystem, and Emirates have announced the winner of the Aviation X Lab Accelerate Traveler Wellbeing Challenge - Nanoksi from Finland. 
 
The winning company impressed the judges of the virtual competition with its active self-disinfecting coating solution that leverages photocatalysis to eradicate 98 percent of microbes within two hours, said a Wam news agency report.
 
The solution, based on titanium dioxide (TiO2), can be used across a wide spectrum of sectors – from travel to healthcare – and needs to be reapplied only once a year.
 
Aviation X Lab is a bold and ambitious initiative by five global aviation giants – Emirates, Thales, Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation, and Airbus – that seeks to disrupt the aviation sector. The latest Aviation X Lab Accelerate virtual competition, hosted in partnership with AREA 2071, invited companies of all sizes from across the globe to submit impactful and ready-for-market COVID-19-related products and solutions aimed at ensuring travelers' wellbeing throughout their journey.
 
Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of DFF, said: "The Aviation X Lab Accelerate Traveler Wellbeing Challenge aligns with the mission of AREA 2071 to bring together the brightest minds from around the world to create positive global impact. Furthermore, it addresses the need to accelerate the development of innovative services, products, and solutions that strengthen the resilience of key sectors, highlighted by the COVID-19 outbreak."
 
He added: "The competition recorded a high uptake, testifying to its deeply relevant theme and a strong interest among the world’s innovators in tackling the pressing challenges faced by the travel sector due to the pandemic. We look forward to witnessing great success as a result of this collaboration between Nanoksi, Emirates and AREA 2071, and hope to further strengthen the aviation industry in Dubai and the UAE."
 
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer and member of Dubai Future Foundation’s board of trustees, said:  "Emirates has always championed innovation and that is why we have actively engaged with the Aviation X Lab and Dubai Future Foundation from the start. We are pleased to see the quality of submissions and interest in the Aviation X-Lab grow over the years, and we are proud to support innovation in the UAE, particularly the utilization of evolving technology to benefit the aviation industry."
 
The Aviation X Lab Accelerate Traveler Wellbeing Challenge received 107 submissions from 30 countries. Based on the likelihood of implementation of the proposed solutions, and their potential to improve health and safety standards in consumer travel, a jury comprising industry and innovation experts selected six finalists that proceeded to the virtual pitch stage. 
 
In addition to Nanoksi, the shortlist featured Sanitizexperts, HealthCheck, EOD Sanitizer, TeraSights, and Waire.



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