Startup Street: Aerospace Giants Show Faith In Indian Firms


This week on Startup Street, two of the biggest firms in aerospace and defence manufacturing have shown their commitment to Indian startups. Social media’s favourite billionaire Elon Musk has had a change of plans for his tunneling startup. Uber’s former chief is back with a fund that will be home to his big bets. And the Indian government’s think-tank has a gift for women.

Here’s what went on:

Airbus, Lockheed Martin Look To India For Innovation
Two aerospace and defence giants have shown that they are bullish on Indian startups.

European aircraft maker Airbus signed contracts with two Indian startups—Newee and Eflight—to build solutions that can be used to meet the firm’s and industry’s needs, according to a press release.

Neewee, an internet-of-things driven data analytics firm, and Eflight, a firm that works on simplifying and automating the flight planning process, were already part of Airbus’ Bizlab technology startup acceleration programme. They were part of the five startups that were selected last year, according to Airbus’ release.

The two startups will provide their solutions to Airbus which will use them on their operations globally. Newee’s product called procuSense will enhance certainty to manufacturing supply chain and procurement operations, while Eflight will offer a suite of services allowing pilots to optimise plans for fuel, time, route and weather, the release added.

“These partnerships stand as an example of our commitment towards engaging with the entrepreneurial community and creating business opportunities for them, especially with Airbus,” said Bruno Gutierres, head of Airbus BizLab.

U.S. defence aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin has also invited ideas from start-ups and university students for its annual ‘India Innovation Growth Programme’.

Applications for this programme will be accepted from March 21. “It looks for start-ups and university students, who have got innovation, and they may be allowed to take their ideas to the next stage, enabling them to enter the market,” Lockheed Martin India Chief Executive Officer Phil Shaw said in a release.

The programme aims to identify innovation taking place in India. An expert panel will pick the best 10 concepts and take them to their innovation ecosystem at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is a public-private partnership between the central government’s Department of Science and Technology and Lockheed.

The programme has generated over 350 commercial agreements and over $900 million of economic value for India since it was started back in 2007, according to an EY report.

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