Accelerating digital innovation via a European Network of Innovation Labs


As part of our efforts to support the digital transformation of European aviation, EUROCONTROL through its Experimental Centre in Brétigny is launching a Europe-wide network of innovation laboratories, with Brétigny acting as an Air Transport Innovation Hub. These labs are designed to accelerate innovation by bringing digital solutions closer to the end-users and accelerating the uptake of digital SESAR solutions in aviation.

The initiative envisages 20-30 labs in different locations across Europe dedicated to aviation stakeholders. We aim to improve the way we serve and connect with our operational partners by working closer with them to develop agile, digital solutions and services that address their real needs.

Solutions will be developed through an agile six-month innovation cycle at the heart of which the network of innovations labs will work on selected stakeholder operational challenges/needs

European Network of Innovation Labs

Call for operational challenges/needs

Any European aviation stakeholder delivering operational services can submit proposals for operational challenges/needs.

The proposals received will be assessed and selected by a committee chaired by EUROCONTROL’s Head of Air Transport Innovation.

Submissions should cover the following sections (input should not exceed three pages):

  • Problem description: please provide a short description of the operational challenges/needs proposed to be solved, when possible, including stakeholders involved, the applicability and relevance of the problem to more than one stakeholder and geographical location, current practices and the flow of data and goods as relevant.
  • Expected operational benefits: please provide a qualitative estimate of the benefits expected from solving the operational challenges/needs.
  • Expected performance improvement: please provide a qualitative estimate of the performance improvement expected from solving the operational challenges/needs.
  • Previous and related work: please summarise when possible, what has been done already or related ongoing initiatives to address the operational challenges/needs if any.
  • Applicant’s contribution: please state the resources your organisation is willing to contribute to the project (data, software, manpower). A minimum of one-person month operational expertise involvement will be required.
  • IPR & confidentiality: please state any constraints concerning intellectual property rights and confidentiality. Note that any prototype developed by EUROCONTROL will be public domain.

Funding and duration

EUROCONTROL is funding the development of the prototype. The applicant is encouraged, however, to complement the innovation team’s resources with their own, recognising that this effort will be borne by the applicant organisation. The involvement of other Innovation Labs, R&D organisations and manufacturers for non-funded collaboration will be looked upon favourably.

Innovation Labs apply an agile approach with a view to shorten innovation cycles; therefore, projects are scheduled for six months followed by a go/no-go decision. One extension is possible if the concept feasibility and its benefits can be demonstrated.

The objective is to launch two projects per ATM stakeholder segment (airports, ANSPs and airspace users) at least.


Proposals for Operational Challenges/Needs should be submitted not later than 26 March 2021.

Bidders are encouraged to submit proposals before the deadline in order to have the opportunity to present the proposed Challenges/Needs to the INO community during intermediate INO webinars (1 for airports, 1 for ANSP, 1 for airspace users) which will be organised before the deadline.

The outcome of the selection will be announced at the INO Promote Event planned for mid-April 2021.

Submit your proposal!

Don't miss this great opportunity. The deadline is 26 March 2021.