SIA opens innovation lab KrisLab, gets staff involved in ideation

Singapore Airlines has opened its new digital innovation lab, known as KrisLab. This is part of the SIA Group’s investment programme, as it aims to be a digital airline. KrisLab aims to serve as a collaborative workspace for SIA Group staff to develop innovative ideas and co-innovate with external partners, start-ups, established incubators and accelerators, enabling the SIA Group to fully embrace digitalisation and technology in all aspects of its business operations.

Technology such as blockchain, mixed reality devices, artificial intelligence and data analytics, among others, are used and explored by staff to develop digital initiatives. The unveiling of KrisLab comes in line with the airline’s Digital Innovation Blueprint which was launched last year. Under the Blueprint, SIA is working to develop and nurture the digital aviation and travel technology community in Singapore, through collaborative partnerships. These are with organisations such as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National University of Singapore (NUS) and other partners, together with support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Staff may submit ideas and solutions for evaluation by the Digital Innovation Lab team based on technological and implementation readiness, as well as market and strategic attractiveness. Once an idea has been approved, seed funding along with expertise provided by the Digital Innovation Lab team is provided to help further develop it into a prototype, before moving to the implementation stage.

One of the innovations being explored at KrisLab also involves the use of virtual reality technology to allow its designers to step on board and explore or change future cabin design concepts quickly. This is one of the many initiatives the airline is exploring to enhance operations and overall customer experience.

Aside from helping employees develop their innovation ideas to fruitation, the Digital Innovation Lab team has been working with research institutions such as A*STAR and NUS on research in deep-tech areas. This looks to give SIA a competitive edge in areas such as revenue management, smart seats, virtual training, and predictive maintenance for aircraft, among others, the company said in a statement.

The design of KrisLab was conceptualised by students from LASALLE College of the Arts and evaluated by a panel of judges comprising design industry veterans, lecturers and senior management from SIA. In line with the theme of digital and innovation, SIA has also launched Learning and Innovation For Everyone (LIFE) to nurture digital mindsets in all its staff as part of the digital transformation coinciding with the opening of KrisLab. LIFE is a three-day learning festival for SIA Group employees which seeks to celebrate and strengthen SIA’s innovative culture and encourage employees to embrace continuous learning through training and apply these new skills and competencies in their workplace and daily lives.

During the LIFE festival, employees can participate in workshops and attend talks by a host of industry leaders who are paving the way forward in their respective digitalisation journeys. They will also be able to experience and learn from their peers at an interactive showcase featuring digital and new technologies that are being adopted across the SIA Group.

“The launch of KrisLab is a significant step forward in our digital transformation journey and encapsulates our ambition to be the leading digital airline in the world. We are fully committed to further enhancing our digital capabilities by providing the right tools and infrastructure for staff to develop their ideas, as well as collaborating with external partners and start-ups to help solve business challenges,” Singapore Airlines CEO, Goh Choon Phong said.