BizLabBringing innovative ideas to market quicker
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BizLab

Boosting aerospace innovation

The first Airbus BizLab facility officially opened in Toulouse, France during March 2015.

As part of a company-wide effort to enhance its innovation process, Airbus operates a global network of accelerator facilities – called Airbus BizLabs – to speed up the transformation of ground-breaking ideas into valuable business propositions, all within an extended innovation eco-system.

This set-up – an important resource at a time of intensified competition – has two primary methods for meeting its goal: accelerating the pace at which Airbus commercialises its own innovations; and drawing upon and developing more ideas from outside Airbus, including customers and companies from other business sectors. 

An Airbus BizLab provides wide-ranging support for early-stage projects in the form of a six-month acceleration programme, through which entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and Airbus employee “intrapreneurs” are given access to a large number of coaches, experts and mentors across various domains – including technology, legal, finance, marketing and communications, easing prototyping and market access.

An innovative approach

The Airbus BizLab network welcomes applications from entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and Airbus employees.

While Airbus is not the first major company to develop new ways of innovating by opening access to an extended ecosystem, there are several key elements that set its BizLab network apart from the rest. 

First and foremost is the “hybrid” concept, mixing internal and external participants to foster an innovative culture and promote an entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial ethos throughout Airbus. This enables the company to work efficiently with start-ups, while simultaneously allowing smaller structures to better understand the needs and methods of large groups. 

In doing so, Airbus enhances its own access to – and knowledge of – the latest ideas, technologies and ways of working for the aerospace sector and beyond. Company employees, accustomed to working as part of a large enterprise, also learn from entrepreneurs adept at bringing new ideas to market as rapidly as possible.

How it works

Airbus’ BizLab network continues the company’s long and proud history of innovation.

After receiving applications from entrepreneurs, Airbus intrapreneurs and start-up companies, the most promising ideas are selected by a screening committee that includes Airbus Chief Innovation Officer Yann Barbaux and Bruno Gutierres, Head of Airbus BizLabs.

From here, the selected projects are given the resources needed to become a commercial reality – beginning with the six-month tailored acceleration programme focused on team qualification, customer desirability, business viability and solution feasibility; which is achieved through mentoring and coaching, communication with experts, participation in “learn and act” workshops, a demo day to raise funding and various experimentation tools. 

The additional resources include co-working spaces at Airbus facilities, access to an extended innovation ecosystem, participation in an open entrepreneurial community and, eventually, an implementation programme to prepare the hand-off strategy. 

A growing network

In developing its BizLab concept, Airbus leveraged the experience of start-up support programmes from other sectors – having forged collaborations with such companies as Microsoft Ventures, Orange Fab, Google and Techstars Boston.

The company operates a worldwide network of three BizLab accelerators, with locations in Europe and India. The first Airbus BizLab was formally inaugurated in Toulouse, France, followed by a second accelerator opened in Hamburg, Germany, and then a third BizLab in Bangalore, India – which is co-located with NUMA, France’s biggest business accelerator.

Airbus BizLab Toulouse launches its second call for projects worldwide

Innovative start-ups with disruptive ideas are invited to apply

22 April 2016 Press Release

After its first successful year since launch in March 2015, Airbus BizLab in Toulouse is inviting talented and inventive start-ups to apply for its second call for projects.

Over the past year, Airbus BizLab has hosted 15 start-ups and 27 Airbus internal projects on its six month acceleration programme. During the same period, Airbus BizLab has extended its international presences to three locations - Toulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany) and Bangalore (India) - supporting the Airbus strategy to create a global network of busine

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"In the last 40 years, the aviation industry has cut fuel burn and CO2 emissions by70%, NOx emissions by 90% and noise by 75%."

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