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.
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.
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.
We are now accepting applications to our 1-year development program, which is focused on autonomous solutions. Check out the Opportunities tab for more information, or click here to go straight to the online application portal.
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.