The world start up ecosystem has been innovating, changing and transforming traditional businesses and industries across the world. Changes and impacts to how the economy and society can be reflected in many different fields, from both B2B and B2C segments.
The travel and tourism industries have gradually seen new innovations and disruptions to the travel ecosystem in the areas of Urban Mobility, Travel Mobility, Travel Technology and Mobility Technology. All these changes, innovations and transformations are taking place all over the world.
Lufthansa Innovation Hub(LIH) is at the forefront of travel and mobility technology ecosystem, searching, identifying and analysing opportunities quickly in the current and future global travel market. This unit was established in 2014, from the expansion of the Lufthansa Group’s digitalisation and innovation unit.
Lufthansa Innovation Hub officially opened the Singapore Office on 28th January 2019, their first foreign office. For this Singapore office, their focus will initially be on in-depth exploration of specific market developments in the travel technology and travel mobility sectors. They are also establishing an extensive network of relevant technology companies and strategic partners on site in Singapore. The start up scene and ecosystem has attracted a number of different companies from different industries and disciplines having a presence in Singapore, this makes Singapore a great proposition for Lufthansa, who is also the first Western airline to start the first initiative, making Singapore their first stop in the Asian continent, tapping on the future travel and mobility growth setors in Asia continent.
During the entire day media event on 28thJanuary 2019, I had the privilege and honour to travel with the visiting Lufthansa Innovation Hub staff from Germany to visit different destinations that were involved in Urban Mobility, Travel Mobility, Travel Technology and Mobility Technology.
First Stop – ETH Centre Singapore
- Presentation | Urban Design in the implementation of Autonomous Vehicles by Tanvi Maheshwari, PhD researcher of the Engaging Mobility project, Future Cities Laboratory
- Demonstration | Bike to the Future: Virtual Reality in the study of cycling Infrastructure by Dr Michael van Eggermond, project coordinator of the Engaging Mobility project, Future Cities Laboratory
- Demonstration | A time-space model of disaggregated urban mobility from aggregated mobile phone data by Cuauhtémoc Anda, PhD researcher of the Engaging Mobility project, Future Cities Laboratory
Second Stop – TravelStop
A start up in the field of business travel, one of the fastest growing start-ups. If you are a business traveler, check them out!
Media Lunch and Press Conference
At the media lunch and press conference, the following distinguished speakers presented on the following topics:
- Lufthansa Group | Perspective on the relevance of the APAC markets and Singapore by Alain Chisari, Vice President Sales Asia & Pacific Lufthansa Group
- Lufthansa Group: Perspective on the importance of digital by Dr Christian Langer, Chief Digital Officer Lufthansa Group Lufthansa Innovation Hub | Perspective on Travel & Mobility Tech in Asia and our branch in Singapore by Gleb Tritus, Managing Director Lufthansa Innovation Hub
- SIN Economic Development Board | Perspective on the mobility innovation hub Singapore by Mr. Tan Kong Hwee, Executive Director, Mobility of Economic Board Singapore
Here are some of the key notes in the speakers presentations
- An alliance with WeWork to research the future of business travel, as well as concrete pilot projects planned at WeWork locations, airports, and online touch points of the Lufthansa Group
- A research alliance LIH had formed with INSEAD that explores the topic of “The Future of Work” and its influence on business travel. Results will be published in a whitepaper and implemented into test projects
- Potential partnerships with Changi Airport and Munich Airport. They are currently in discussion with both airports to validate the research findings from WeWork and INSEAD in real world conditions.
- Additionally, LIH also unveiled plans to open another office in Shanghai within the year. To expand their efforts and network into China, which possesses a large share of the travel and mobility market.
* Information courtesy of Lufthansa Innovation Hub and PRecious PR Agency *
Third Stop – Visit to Changi Airport
A visit to Changi Airport, going for a tour of Changi Airport’s latest Terminal 4. I am familiar with Changi Airport Terminal 4 since I went for 2 tours previously and flew twice from Changi T4 in 2018. This particular visit was special for me because this was my first to Changi Airport as media, thanks to Lufthansa Innovation Hub staff from Germany visiting Changi Airport Terminal 4.
Launch party and networking
At the launch party in the evening, Alain Chisari, Vice President Sales Asia & Pacific Lufthansa Group and Dr Christian Langer, Chief Digital Officer Lufthansa Group Lufthansa Innovation Hub, presented again to the guests who were not able to attend the afternoon session press conference.
After the presentations, it was a night of drinks and networking, I had the opportunities to meet some of the people from the various organisations that I met during the whole day media tour, had a good time chatting and networking with them.
Having covered some of the startups scene and ecosystem in Singapore over the years, the role, significance and directions of Lufthansa Innovation Hub is refreshing, huge and an eye opener. Travel technology startups are not as many compared to the ones in the traditional sciences, engineering, technology sectors, they don’t get as much limelight at times.
Lufthansa Innovation Hub focus will initially be on in-depth exploration of specific market developments in the travel technology and travel mobility sectors. They are also establishing an extensive network of relevant technology companies and strategic partners on site in Singapore. This move, in my personal humble opinion, is going to grow and unite the travel technology and travel mobility industries together, leveraging, working and expanding together in the booming Asia continent.
Having a background in hospitality, tourism and travel studies, coupled with my other industry experiences in business development and financial advisory, complementing my technology and travel writing, I hope that Lufthansa Innovation Hub in Singapore would be able to expand the travel tech, urban mobility and travel mobility sectors, not just here in Singapore and around the world.
I hope there would be more opportunities for me to cover and write on travel technology, urban mobility and travel mobility sectors in the near future.
** I would like to thank Lufthansa Innovation Hub and PRecious PR Agency for the invitation to Lufthansa Innovation Hub official launch event in Singapore. **