07.02.23, GLASGOW, Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport, and place leadership, announced a new multi-year partnership today with Glasgow Airport, to create the UK’s first Connected Airport Living Lab. The partnership will produce a series of demonstrations and trials of innovative technologies at the airport as the transport hub continues to regrow passenger numbers in tandem with delivering on the commitments outlined in its Sustainability Strategy.
Glasgow Airport to become UK’s first Connected Airport Living Lab
This partnership will put Glasgow Airport at the heart of testing a diverse range of innovations aimed at addressing challenges facing the aviation sector. The ‘Connected Airport Living Lab’ will play host to technologies, systems and processes designed to enhance passenger experience and freight management. It aims to boost productivity and will accelerate decarbonisation of ground and air operations, including the electrification of flight, the use of hydrogen, automation data analytics and multi modal connected surface-level access.
The partnership will also support existing collaborations in the region, including the airport and Catapult’s ongoing involvement with CAELUS (Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland), which is working with NHS Scotland to build the first national drone network that can transport essential medicines, bloods and other medical supplies throughout Scotland including to remote communities.
Central to the Connected Airport Living Lab will be a holistic vision of the airport as a highly innovative net zero place, that plays an important part in developing the city-region’s skills-base and full economic potential. The Catapult will use its global reach to highlight international examples of airports successfully integrating amenities such as university campuses, entertainment venues and even vertical farms into their offering.
The Catapult is directing millions of pounds of Innovate UK funding into the collaboration, which sees Glasgow Airport named as the UK’s first Connected Airport Living Lab. The five-year partnership will pioneer the approach and plans are in place to roll out the model to other airports as it succeeds.
Closer to home, the Living Lab will work with the Glasgow City Region to support its threefold economic strategy to grow into the most inclusive, productive and green economy in the UK by 2030.