Etihad Aviation Group honors winners of Fikra University Competition held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Airports

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Etihad Aviation Group recently hosted its Pitch Day and awards ceremony to celebrate the winners of the second edition of its Fikra University competition. The programme, run in partnership with Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), aims to foster entrepreneurship and innovation among university students across the UAE and provide participating students with the opportunity to put forward solutions for a range of challenges facing the aviation industry.

Held at Etihad’s Training Academy in Abu Dhabi, the ceremony was attended by the senior leadership teams from Etihad and ADAC, as well as students and representatives from a number of major universities in the UAE.

There were four winning students this year. The first winners were a team of three students from the American University of Dubai who developed an innovative fast boarding process utilising unique algorithms. The final winning student was from the American University of Sharjah who developed a cargo-tracking device that can significantly increase efficiency of the cargo monitoring process.

The winners will be awarded with career defining opportunities for internships at Etihad Aviation Group, ADAC, or one of their select strategic partners.

In its second year, the programme has seen 44 universities participating in the competition, up from 18 in the first year, with 2,850 students registering to take part. Over 400 ideas were submitted with the winning ideas selected by a panel of experts who then provided mentoring and advice to the students to help them develop their ideas. The students then presented their ideas to a panel of senior management team members from Etihad and ADAC.

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.