UAE’s national airline, the Etihad Airways, has partnered with Vancouver based award-winning startup Swae, to launch an artificial intelligence based platform named iFikra. This platform will aim to unlock the full potential of the Etihad workforce by making the employees capable of contributing to innovation. Etihad announced this on their website last Monday.
iFikra is specifically designed to boost the collective creativity of the workforce by allowing every single employee to propose innovate solutions to the business challenges Etihad face, as well as untapped opportunities.
The CEO of Etihad’s Aviation Group, Tony Douglas has launched iFikra in Monday, 10th June. “We recognise that there is an abundance of great ideas right here in our organisation and no one knows our business better than our employees, so we developed this tool to give them the platform they need to innovate. If we are operating more innovatively internally, our guests will have a far more superior experience when they choose Etihad,” he said.
Through this new platform, AI will support and augment written business proposals submitted by the staff with an open feedback and collaboration loop. The metrics would be transparency and meritocracy, to help escalating the most promising ideas forward.
For the first time ever, all the Etihad employees are getting some power to shape their organizational strategies through providing feedback and voting the best ideas. Everyone gets to play a direct role in the decision making process this way.
The ideas which will graduate from iFikra will be given seed funding and support through Etihad’s Innovation Lab. The lab gives the promising ideas and projects rapid trial and iteration to accelerate the delivery of prototypes, proof of concepts, pilots and minimum viable products.
Swae’s CEO, Soushiant Zangenehpour, said: “We’re excited to partner with Etihad on this integration of Swae. We believe Swae’s platform can help Etihad improve the inclusivity and quality of bottom-up ideas, and allow employee generated innovations to significantly influence the broader strategic direction of the organisation, leading to great successes.”
Etihad had launched the Etihad AI Academy back in January, in association with Microsoft. The global airways giant is taking AI adoption very seriously and making strategic investments to make sure AI helps the company to remain competitive and distinctive in the digital age.