Making a worldwide impact on aviation: an interview with Lennart Schroer, co-founder at Dutch IoT-startup Undagrid

Making a worldwide impact on aviation: an interview with Lennart Schroer, co-founder at Dutch IoT-startup Undagrid

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The last time we wrote about the Internet of Things company Undagrid, it had just landed investments by Innovation Industries and Mainport Innovation Fund. “Multiple millions of euros” have been invested in Undagrid to date, although the company based at Schiphol Airport would not specify a precise amount. Undagrid has also landed (no pun intended) Schiphol early on as an important client. Since 2014 and this first rollout on Schiphol, Undagrid has expanded and are providing their smart sensor system to eleven airports worldwide.

This week, we spoke with Lennart Schroer, marketer, and co-founder of EIT Digital Challenge 2014 winner Undagrid, in context to the upcoming EIT Digital Challenge of 2017. We will discuss its latest state of affairs, their progress, and what kind of impact the EIT Digital Challenge had on the company.

Empowering your assets

Undagrid provides airports with what they call “Autonomous Dynamic Asset Management”. The company helps airports gain more insight on their equipment by connecting them to a network based on Undagrid’s technology. In this way, current inefficiencies in logistical processes are being reduced or even removed. The smart sensor system improves the available information on goods and material like the current status and location. Undagrid offers a modular platform which uses machine learning, data analysis and sensor technology to optimize and visualize the use of these assets. Because of this platform, companies will also be able to optimize the use of their “things” due to better insight on processes like the loading and unloading of airplanes, cargo, and the maintenance of airplanes.

What is the current state of affairs of Undagrid and how is it fairing?

Lennart Schroer: “We are now live at eleven airports worldwide. A more recent development, however, is our partnership with Lufthansa Technik. This is a worldwide contract, but the first rollout will be in Hamburg, eventually expanding to Frankfurt and München as well. In general, we had a lot of positive press coverage, which is helpful of course!”

According to Undagrid’s most recent press release on September 28th, 2017, the company has been working together with Lufthansa Technik for two years now. They have been doing worldwide research to optimize asset management while using IoT-solutions. The companies have now launched the GSE 4.0 project worldwide. With this platform, Lufthansa will have insight on every asset the company owns. Subsequently localizing and allocating assets will be done in the most efficient way possible with Undagrid’s smart sensor system.

What did you achieve and receive at EIT Digital?

“We participated in the EIT Digital Challenge in 2014. We won the challenge in the field of Internet of Things, and thus we became one of the most promising Internet of Things scaleups in Europe. The most immediate help we received from EIT Digital was, of course, the prize money, consisting of 40.000 euros. We subsequently received help setting up our business, while EIT Digital also set up meetings with potential investors. EIT Digital gave us a lot of support, and maybe even too much since we did not always fully use the amount of support they could provide. Undagrid was already a little bit further in the development of its service and business than other scaleups that typically participated. But while we already were an upcoming company, it still is hard to build a company so EIT Digital’s help was very welcome and useful.”

You won the first prize during the EIT Digital Challenge of 2014 in the field of Internet of Things. How do you expect the sector, in which Undagrid is active, to change?

“There is a huge digital transformation taking place in our sector. Basically, every company in every sector or field will say this as well. Every company is currently trying to expand their business with new, smart and innovative solutions. The implementation of Internet of Things is one of the hottest topics in aviation. We started building our solution three years ago. Now, there is a lot of demand worldwide for these kinds of solutions in the field of aviation. We like to think that our success had an impact on this worldwide increase in demand.”

EIT Digital Challenge 2017

Undagrid is a Dutch scaleup that participated in the EIT Digital Challenge three years ago and has possibly already made a worldwide impact with their smart IoT solution. Are you part of a tech scaleup that is looking for a boost to grow internationally? Do you want to gain international visibility and access to international markets? If the answers to these questions are yes, what are you waiting for? The EIT Digital Challenge 2017 is open for applications.

Scaleups can apply for EIT Digital Challenge until October 8th, 2017. This is your last chance to participate!

 

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