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HELP SHAPE THE AIRPORT EXPERIENCE

The Airport Innovation Lab offers an opportunity to test your solution in a live airport environment. 

We are seeking companies with solutions that will help us enhance our passenger experience, improve operational efficiency, decrease costs and/or increase revenue. Click on the Opportunities tab below for more information!


In 2016 the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority launched an initiative unique to the industry: a program dedicated to helping businesses overcome the challenges facing the airport industry through a 16-week accelerator. Since then, the program has expanded to include testing for immediate implementation proof-of-concept ideas, as well as a one-year technology-intensive collaborative program. 

Businesses have an opportunity to interact with airport stakeholders to develop and test their idea with more than 25 million passengers at the third busiest single-runway airport in the world. 

The Airport Innovation Lab is focused on redesigning the airport experience through improved operational efficiency, an enhancement of the passenger experience, a focus on eco-friendly solutions, and decreasing costs and/or increasing revenue to the Authority. In addition to the Opportunity Statements shared by the Authority, we would love to hear creative ideas put forward by aspiring businesses. Please check out our Opportunities for more information!

An Innovation Powerhouse in the Airport Industry
Innovators will gain expertise about the airport industry and assistance in developing a market-ready product. Additionally, successful innovators have an opportunity to receive a contract to work with SAN. 

Workspace
Access to 3,500 sq. ft. terminal-like coworking space to engage in workshops, test prototypes, and have direct access to passengers for research, testing, and development. 

Testing
Knowledge and engagement from airport experts and members of the aviation community that will help participants build a sustainable business in the airport environment and alike spaces.

Stay tuned to see new open opportunities we will be offering! 

Airport Innovation Lab Space  

Upcoming Opportunities

Open now, the Airport Innovation Lab will receive submissions for the 16-week program for products or services focused on touchless solutions and queue management. Applications will be accepted until 12 p.m. PDT, October 11, 2020. The program will begin in early November 2020 and go through early March 2021, with a short break at the end of December. 

For Touchless Solutions, we are looking for innovative solutions that allow contactless movement of passengers throughout the airport. Considerations could include passenger identification, security, concessions point-of-sale, or more. For more information or to apply now, click here

For Queue Management, we are looking for innovative solutions that utilize technology to communicate social distancing recommendations, identify congestion, or otherwise guide queuing to more efficient logistics. Considerations include ticketing, security, concessions, or other queues within the airport space. For more information or to apply now, click here

Our 16-week program Airport Innovation Lab program will teach you how to test, build and grow a sustainable business in the in the airport industry and provide you with the opportunity to test your solution in a passenger facing environment.

Later this fall, we will also be opening an opportunity for a 1-year program focused on autonomous solutions. Details will follow soon! 

Airport Innovation Lab TV 1

Airport Innovation Lab TV 2

Airport Innovation Lab TV 3

Innovators To Improve Parking and Customer Mobility

AtYourGate

HOHM Inc Ciari Guitars

Taco's and Tech Podcast

 

Revenue Share and License Agreement Requirements

For the benefits of taking part in the Airport Innovation Lab, a required 5 year negotiable revenue share for revenue generated through airports and analogous industries will be applied after the completion of the program.

A License agreement for the duration of the program will be required to operate on airport property.

You can find the template agreements here: Airport Innovation Lab Revenue Share & License Agreement

Frequently Asked Questions

Does SAN invest in my idea?
Since the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is a governmental entity in the state of California, it is unfortunately not possible for SAN to invest directly in companies. The Innovation Team, however, can help you to identify and prepare material for Venture Capital firms or Business Angels who might be interested in investing in your idea.

Can I test my idea in the actual airport space?
While there is no guarantee that you will be able to test your idea at the airport, there is the possibility to give you space and time to test your product or service extensively in the airport environment. The initial tests will be performed in the Airport Innovation Lab, a Terminal like space – the longstanding commuter terminal of the San Diego International Airport. Whether you are able to test your idea in the passenger terminals afterwards is upon the discretion of the Authority.

How many of our team can work in the lab?
In general, your team is more than welcome to use the Lab space as their office. We have a dedicated co-working area. If there are more people than seats, we consider limiting the seats to two persons per team (This never happened in the past). Every person planning to work in the lab regularly will have to pass a background check and requires a badge. More information can be found on the Airport Authority Aviation and Public Safety page. 

All fees are the responsibility of the team.

Where in the airport can I test my idea?
Depending on the Opportunity you are applying for and upon the discretion of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, you may get to test your idea in the most appropriate location for the given solution. The actual decision if and where products or services can be tested are always at the discretion of the Authority.

Why am I required to have a revenue share?
For all of the benefits of taking part in the Airport Innovation Lab and the ability to use Authority property/spaces that have real value, the Authority proposes a negotiable revenue share for all participants and their future revenues within airports and analogous industries for the next 5 years.

Many models can meet this requirement. Please make a proposal in your application.

Do I have to be present for the whole duration of the program?
To facilitate applications from outside of San Diego there will be no mandatory presence throughout the Lab, however attendance is required for key dates such as kick-off, midterm, formal interview, demo day and throughout the alpha/beta testing of the solution. Nonetheless, we encourage you to seize the unique opportunity and meet with key airport stakeholders and specialists to answer your questions and help you understand the industry. Some of them will be available for a video call as well, depending on their schedule. 

If you wish to test your idea during the duration of the program it might be beneficial if one of your team members is present to set up, monitor and perform the tests. This also depends on your exact idea and the data you wish to collect during testing. The airport will not provide any staff to perform your tests.

Will travel expenses be reimbursed?
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority will not cover the cost of travel to or from San Diego, nor the living cost that might incur when staying in town. The Airport Innovation Lab provides you with space in case you wish to work from the airport from time to time.

Can we work from the lab for the full duration of the program?
We offer a co-working space like setup where you are more than welcome to work from. We provide desks, storage space, meeting rooms and internet. Coffee, water and soft drinks are also available. However, please note that the lab is a semi-public space. We encourage you to try the space at the beginning of the program and see if it fits your needs.

Do I need to have a prototype ready?
Since the idea of the Airport Innovation Lab circles around providing you access to test your solution at airports, we encourage you to have at least a testable prototype ready. In some cases, we might be able to offer an exclusion to this, at the Authority’s discretion. If you are unsure whether your prototype matches the testability criteria, please contact us.

Do we automatically get a contract with SAN after the lab?
Although the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is looking forward to implementing new and innovative ideas at the San Diego International Airport, taking part in the SAN Innovation Lab does not automatically entitle you to receive a contract with the Authority. The goal of the Lab is to get you ready to win airport contracts.

How does the further scaling work?
During and after the Airport Innovation Lab you will have the chance to talk to executives from other airports as well, which will increase your chances of landing a contract. On top of that, the Airport Innovation Lab will help you understand the traditional procurement processes in the airport industry. SAN will also support you in making it easier for other airports to launch your idea.

Will the contents of my application be public record and can I mark pages as confidential?
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (“Airport Authority”) is a public entity and subject to the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”). (Cal. Gov. Code §6250, et seq.) Applicants should understand that all information and records submitted in connection with the Airport Authority’s SAN Innovation Lab invitation to apply, are potentially subject to disclosure in accordance with the CPRA. Accordingly, please consider carefully what information and records you choose to share with the Airport Authority as part of your application. All applications will become the property of the Airport Authority upon receipt. The Applicant must specifically identify, in writing, all copyrighted material, trade secrets or other proprietary information that the Applicant claims are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the CPRA. By submitting an application with claimed exemptions, the Applicant further agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Airport Authority and its Board, officers, officials, directors, employees, agents, and volunteers, from any claims, liability or damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs, against the Airport Authority and to defend any actions brought against the Airport Authority for its refusal to disclose such material, trade secrets or other proprietary information to any requesting party.

Contact Us

If you have questions, concerns or comments regarding the Airport Innovation Lab, email Innovate@san.org. Please specify your request to include your first name, last name, inquiry, and we will respond as quickly as possible. Please note that this program is monitored Mon-Fri excluding holidays.

Physical Address 
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority  
SDCRAA Administration Building 
3225 North Harbor Drive 
San Diego, California 92101 

Mailing Address 
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority  
P.O. Box 82776 
San Diego, California 92138-9776

SUCCESS STORIES


Baggage Nanny

Baggage Nanny successfully tested their` service of secure luggage storage and delivery (for arriving and departing passengers).

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FuelRod

"As the first airport to deploy our mobile charging solutions, from the beginning the San Diego Airport has been a tremendous partner for FuelRod. They believed in our concept and provided the launching pad into the airport industry. We owe much of our success to their support." - Joe Yeagley

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Ciari Guitars

In-Airport Guitar Kiosk where consumers can relax pre or post flight by experiencing a Ciari Guitar in a comfortable setting that includes seating and one or more guitar play stations.

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FreedomPark

FreedomPark provides a fast, friendly no-wait valet parking experience, saving you time and ensuring your vehicle is safe.

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GoApron

GoApron takes care of your scheduling from start to finish helping airports park airplanes smarter and increase revenue.

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Lorenzo Designs

Flexible, programmable, illuminated LED stanchion belts to direct traffic and improve way-finding.

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Nüdel Kart

With its mission to create play when there is none and teach children, Nüdel Kart is a deconstructable mobile cart that can be reconfigured by children in different ways.

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Nuvve

Pioneering vehicle-to-grid applications at airports with excess electric vehicle (battery-stored) energy sold back to the grid or buildings during peak demand times.

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NXT Robotic

Autonomous cognitive robotic devices for enhanced security and safety in a dedicated perimeter.

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TravelCar

TravelCar successfully tested a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform enabling passengers to park and potentially rent their personal vehicles while traveling.

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Vark

Vark successfully participated with a cloud based valet management platform designed to reduce admin time, operation costs & revenue leakage for the operator and a stress free valet experience for the customer.

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AtYourGate

"We were born as a business in San Diego based on the confidence and support of the San Diego International Airport Innovation Lab and now, with the support of TRITON FUNDS, we elevate our commitment to our fellow San Diegans as they travel through San Diego Airport." - P.J. Mastracchio

After their successful roll out at San Diego International Airport AtYourGate secured seed funding of $2 million by San Diego based TRITON Funds. There is also a recent news video by KPBS about the airport and AtYourGate.

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LEGAL

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (“Airport Authority”) is a public entity and subject to the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”). (Cal. Gov. Code §6250, et seq.) Applicants should understand that all information and records submitted in connection with the Airport Authority’s SAN Innovation Lab invitation to apply, are potentially subject to disclosure in accordance with the CPRA. Accordingly, please consider carefully what information and records you choose to share with the Airport Authority as part of your application. All applications will become the property of the Airport Authority upon receipt. The Applicant must specifically identify, in writing, all copyrighted material, trade secrets or other proprietary information that the Applicant claims are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the CPRA. By submitting an application with claimed exemptions, the Applicant further agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Airport Authority and its Board, officers, officials, directors, employees, agents, and volunteers, from any claims, liability or damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs, against the Airport Authority and to defend any actions brought against the Airport Authority for its refusal to disclose such material, trade secrets or other proprietary information to any requesting party.

There is no guarantee that an Applicant will be interviewed and no guarantee that those interviewed will be awarded an opportunity to work in the SAN Innovation Lab. The Airport Authority reserves the right to select the Applicant contingent upon the Applicant’s satisfactory completion of all conditions. The President/CEO reserves the right to reject any and all applications; to waive any informalities or irregularities in any application received; to waive any requirement of the application documents as to the submitting procedure; to revise the invitation to apply prior to the time for final submission at any time; to withdraw this invitation to apply at any time; to extend the time for submittal of applications; to conduct or not conduct interviews; and to reschedule interviews scheduled. By submitting an application, the Applicant agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Airport Authority and its Board, officers, officials, directors, employees, agents, and volunteers for any claims of copyright, patent or trademark infringement arising out of, caused directly or indirectly by the acts or omissions of the Applicant in relation to this invitation to apply and the application. Each party responding to the invitation to apply shall bear all of its own costs and expenses, direct and indirect, associated with or related to any action taken in response to this invitation to apply, and the Airport Authority shall not be responsible in any manner for such costs and expenses.