Silicon Valley-based accelerator Plug & Play brought tech start-ups from around the world to Gatwick in an effort to kickstart airport innovation.
Gatwick, having previously worked with Plug & Play, hosted the event as it seeks innovative solutions for the varied airport issues it encounters.
A total of 16 start-ups from the UK, US, India, Israel, Austria and Denmark attended the event, including: a London and Copenhagen-based luggage storage platforms, a Paris-based fuel-efficiency specialist, a New York-based flight booking system, and a London-based company offering ‘baggage-less’ air travel by customers checking-in luggage at home.
The start-ups pitched their products to attendees, and five “reverse-pitches” were also given by airport employees, giving the start-ups new problems to find solutions for.
Abhi Chacko (pictured centre), head of innovation at Gatwick airport, said: “This event kick-started numerous discussions and we hope it will supercharge airport innovation at Gatwick and other airports across the UK and further afield.”
“Technology moves fast and events like this help Gatwick and VINCI airports to stay ahead of the curve so we can become early adopters of appropriate advances that will improve the service we offer passengers.”
Amir Amidi, managing partner at Plug & Play, said: “Plug and Play currently helps 14 airports including Gatwick and Singapore’s Changi on digitisation initiatives by putting them in touch with relevant and cutting-edge technologies developed by start-ups from all around the globe.
Chacko added the airport has already implemented new technology, including a passenger chatbot and computers able to measure the amount of hand luggage due to go on an aircraft.