ENAIRE’s strategic innovation plan foresees more than 20 million annual investments

The Board of Directors of ENAIRE, the Spanish air navigation services provider, has approved the Strategic Innovation Plan, one of 11 plans that make up the company’s strategic plan, Flight Plan 2025.

The approved strategic plan aims to invest in research, development and innovation (R&D) an annual average of more than 20 million euros (20.6) for the period from 2021 to 2025, an increase of 16% compared to the investment of ENAIRE in the previous five years, and which will amount to 103.1 million euros over the whole period. With this plan, ENAIRE consolidates its position as one of the main drivers of innovation within the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA). In fact, ENAIRE’s effort in terms of innovation is currently around the average of the 27 countries of the European Union.

The Strategic Plan revolves around two major initiatives: the establishment of an Innovation Management System and a partnership with CRIDA as the driving force behind this innovation.

A management system

ENAIRE is an eminently innovative company and a greater systematization of innovation management will help foster synergies and more efficient management of all R&D activity. ENAIRE’s Innovation Management System seeks to boost this systematization by working on both Knowledge Management and Innovation Project Management.

CRIDA, a driver of innovation

ENAIRE will strengthen its current cooperation with CRIDA in R&D activities and jointly develop solutions of interest for future implementation in its air traffic management (ATM) system. CRIDA AIE (Reference Center for Research, Development and Innovation in ATM) is a non-profit Economic Interest Grouping majority-owned by ENAIRE (66.66%), with minority holdings by INECO (16, 7%) and the Polytechnic University of Madrid (16.7%).

Its mission is to improve the efficiency and performance of the Spanish air traffic management system by developing ideas and R&D projects that provide solutions whose benefit can be quantified through system performance indicators, while considering the Spanish system as part of a global system.

Four main areas of R&D

The Innovation Management System and CRIDA work on the four main areas of R&D for ENAIRE, which are:

  • Internal innovation. Major projects include Startical (constellation of satellites to provide voice and data communications and ADS-B surveillance services), iTEC (alliance with air navigation providers from Germany and the UK, and other providers European Unions, to develop the interoperability of air traffic systems), iFOCUCS (new air traffic controller position for ENAIRE), U-Space (advanced use of drones and urban air mobility), Flow Tools (ecosystem of tools designed specifically for and by air traffic units), Digital Tower and HERON (business process automation).
  • Innovation within the framework of SESAR. The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) program includes the R&D phase associated with the modernization of air traffic management in Europe within the framework of the Single Sky. ENAIRE has been a member of the SJU (SESAR Joint Undertaking) since 2008 and has actively participated in the SESAR1 and SESAR2020 programmes. She is currently a member of the new S3JU agency, which will manage the SESAR3 program under Europe Horizon.
  • Open innovation. The goal in this case is to bring innovation talent outside of ENAIRE by funding grants, start-ups, etc.
  • Technology watch and competitive watch. ENAIRE has set up an innovation observatory that supports knowledge management and the integration of new technologies

Data analysis

ENAIRE’s Board of Directors also approved the award of a data analysis contract to Telefónica Soluciones de Informática y Comunicaciones de España for an amount of 1.1 million euros excluding taxes. The duration of the contract is 12 months. Data governance and analytics will help us to have a single and trusted source of data across the business, which will make the analytics performed across the business more reliable. It also democratizes the data, which is made available to professionals so that they can do their own analyses, which will improve the work and performance of ENAIRE staff.

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