Today marks the launch of the 5th edition of the Airbus Fly Your Ideas global student challenge, organized under the patronage of UNESCO. Students around the world with a passion for engineering and innovation are invited to register to this unique competition, which is an opportunity for them to develop their ideas, to address real challenges facing the aviation industry and to develop valuable skills for their future careers. This includes learning teamwork, project management, as well as communications skills.

In previous editions of the competition, teams submitted ideas that encompassed both futuristic technologies (air-powered in-flight food and beverage delivery, or using body heat to power devices) and new applications for existing technologies (such as a cleverly designed trolley to help air crew recycle waste packaging on board).

UNESCO, as the only organization in the UN system with a specific mandate for science and engineering, granted its patronage to Airbus Fly Your Ideas in 2012 to pursue a common goal: inspire young people to get involved in engineering and find tomorrow’s solutions. The competition is held every 2 years, and attracted over 3,700 from 104 countries in the previous edition.

New in this latest competition, students are asked to submit solutions to genuine industry challenges that are either innovations for ‘Now’ or innovations for the ‘Future’; guaranteeing a cross section of ideas that are both applicable today and deliver blue sky thinking for tomorrow. Competing teams should propose innovative ideas addressing business models, flight operations, passenger experience, design engineering or manufacturing.

Registration for Fly Your Ideas 2017 opens today, 31 May 2016. Students must register as a team of three to five members. They are encouraged to include team members from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and disciplines – from engineering to marketing and from science to design. Teams must be supported by an academic mentor from one of the students’ institutions. The competition is organized in three rounds. Five teams will be selected for the final round where students are asked to test, prototype or visualise their solutions. Finally the teams will present their projects to an expert jury at the final event in May 2017, where the winning team wins a prize of €30,000 and the runners up share €15,000.

But no matter whether ideas are ‘blue sky thinking’ or could be implemented right away, teams will have the chance to engage with experts and specialists in each challenge area from Round 1 onwards, giving teams the chance to develop their ideas with high-level insight into their area of interest.

Register for the competition, join the Fly Your Ideas community on Facebook and subscribe to the newsletter now, to be first informed on the latest updates concerning Fly Your Ideas 2017.