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DAY 40

DAY 40

DISCOVER A WORLD OF INNOVATION

Silicon Valley and Shenzhen hotspots explore new horizons

How do you solve a problem like a traffic jam? San Francisco’s heavy traffic, with all its frustrations, provided key inspiration for the energetic team at Airbus’ Silicon Valley innovation centre A3...

“What if you could fly over it?” 

Many amongst the team at A3 recall friends and family warning them that a job in aerospace “would be boring” as every innovation had already be done. Yet they now find themselves working on “a new golden age of aviation”. 

The Silicon Valley innovation centre, inaugurated in January 2016, is definitely not business as usual for Airbus, nor for any of the talented pioneers who work there. Its mission is specifically to build the future of flight today.  

Led by Mark Cousin, A3 by Airbus also has a newly inaugurated counterpart, the Airbus China Innovation Centre (ACIC) in Shenzhen, the high-tech hardware capital of the world. 

Both A3 by Airbus and ACIC are focused on working with local talent, technology and partners to make the most of these fantastic locations. “In Shenzhen, there’s a strong culture of innovation: entrepreneurship is in the blood,” explains ACIC CEO Gang Luo. “We want to plant deep roots in China to benefit from this innovation ecosystem.”


“In Shenzhen, there’s a strong culture of innovation: entrepreneurship is in the blood. We want to plant deep roots in China to benefit from this innovation ecosystem.”

Gang Luo, CEO of Airbus China Innovation Centre

Although they may seem worlds apart, Mark and Gang work hand-in-hand to achieve their common goal: to understand, explore and implement new technologies that make a real difference in people’s lives. 

For example, both centres have particularly focused on accelerating the progress of Urban Air Mobility solutions. Three A3 by Airbus projects, including the electric-powered vertical take-off and landing vehicle demonstrator Vahana, have successfully transitioned into the new Airbus Urban Mobility subsidiary. 

And at ACIC, the team is working in partnership with the City of Shenzhen to develop the infrastructure needed to enable a new class of aerial vehicles to safely take to the skies. 

With the opportunity for joint projects to be formed in the months and years ahead, the innovation centres will continue to operate with a long leash, keeping the pioneering spirit of Airbus alive and shaping a better-connected and safer world for the future. 

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