Let’s paint the future together – the AkzoNobel startup challenge begins


Calling all startups, scale-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators! The first edition of Paint the Future – the AkzoNobel startup challenge is now open and ready to discover new and revolutionary solutions that will accelerate innovation in the world of paints and coatings.


The challenge connects bright minds and promising solutions from across the globe with AkzoNobel’s expertise, global scale and resources. Innovators, challenge teams, institutions and industry experts will work together to enhance the submitted ideas, forming a truly collaborative ecosystem.


Spearheaded by the company’s Chief Technology Officer Klaas Kruithof, Paint the Future offers winners the opportunity to accelerate commercialization of their solution.


“We can’t wait to see what exciting developments this collaborative experience brings to the paints and coatings industry,” says AkzoNobel CEO, Thierry Vanlancker. “We’re driven to create value for our customers, passionate about what we do and always looking ahead. Now, we’re looking to go even further, painting the future together with the world’s coolest innovators.”


Adds Kruithof: “Paints and coatings is a dynamic, technology-driven industry. We know the future lies in working with others and being open to cross-industry solutions. Exploring the new technology frontier, we will be able to introduce new features, improved products and more ways to delight our customers – and accelerate some truly exciting innovations.”




Launched in partnership with KPMG, the challenge focuses on five key areas:

  • Smart application
  • Enhanced functionality
  • Circular solutions
  • Life science infusion
  • Predictable performance

Register at to join the platform, submit solutions and contribute industry expertise as part of the community. More information about the challenge, this year’s five themes and submission process are also available in greater detail on the website.


The deadline for new submissions is March 1, 2019, and participants on the platform will continue to explore, discuss and enrich ideas until March 12, after which AkzoNobel experts will select finalists to participate in the finals event in Amsterdam May 14 to 16. Shortly thereafter, the company will begin working with winners on sustainable business opportunities.


Brief challenge descriptions:

Smart application
How could your solution change or improve the way customers apply our products?

Enhanced functionality
What exciting new functionality can your technology offer to make coatings cleaner, more responsive or adaptive?


Circular solutions
How would your solution enable circular use of materials at any point in our value chain?

Life science infusion
How can your solution, containing bio-active technology, help bring better performance or innovative features to our coatings?


Predictable performance
How can we collect and augment data more innovatively to make predictions for real world surface performance more accurate?


About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel has a passion for paint. We’re experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the standard in color and protection since 1792. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, we are active in over 150 countries and employ around 35,000 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high-performance products and services our customers expect.

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Emirates develops innovative application to reduce aircraft turnaround delays at Dubai hub


Karachi / Dubai, Dec 26 2018– Emirates passengers travelling from or transiting through Dubai International Airport (DXB) can expect fewer instances of delays associated with aircraft turnaround thanks to a new innovative application built in-house by Emirates called the Hub Monitor.

Hub Monitor is being used by Emirates’ operational staff in Dubai to share and monitor real time information on the various activities that are carried out to prepare an aircraft for departure. Through its monitoring and proactive alerting system, the application helps avoid delays and improve on-time performance ultimately leading to a better passenger experience.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer said: “The Hub Monitor application is a unique and innovative tool developed in line with our vision to continuously re-examine our processes and introduce smart and more efficient means to improve our operations resulting in better passenger experience. Our Operations team in coordination with IT have led the development of the hub monitoring system in a record time of five months, building on an existing solution that was already developed by Emirates Engineering. The team examining the various functions of Hub Monitor in real time are working to roll out further modules and the next module will be implemented later this month.”

Emirates Aircraft Turnaround in Dubai

Emirates is the world’s largest international airline operating a fleet of 270 modern all wide-body fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.  Every day around 255 Emirates flights depart from Dubai to destinations across six continents. Flights range in duration from less than an hour to over 17 hours. In order to avoid flight delays and inconvenience to passengers, it is critically important to efficiently turnaround the aircraft arriving in Dubai and prepare them for their next departure without compromising on quality or safety.

It currently takes about 105 minutes to turnaround the Emirates A380, the world’s largest commercial passenger jet, and about 90 minutes to prepare the Boeing 777 aircraft for departure at Emirates’ hub in Dubai.

There are a number of activities involved in the aircraft turnaround process. Some of these include a complete cleaning of aircraft interiors, water and toilet servicing, flight catering and loading meals for passengers, servicing the aircraft Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), refuelling the aircraft, maintenance checks, and loading passenger luggage and cargo. A delay in any one of these activities can have a cumulative impact on operations.


Emirates Hub Monitor
Emirates Hub Monitor


Hub Monitor

With Hub Monitor, cross-functional teams from departments including Engineering, Network Control, Airport Services, Flight Operations, and dnata Operations keep track of the turnaround activities on a real time basis. The application also triggers alerts to operational staff when there is a delay or deviation to any above or below wing activity against a pre-set Precision Timing Schedule (PTS). These pre-emptive alerts allow Emirates’ teams to identify and resolve the root cause of any potential delays. In fact, Hub Monitor has already demonstrated its potential, versatility and scalability and has been chosen as the platform for some of Emirates’ key internal initiatives on disruption and fulfilment.

Hub Monitor integrates data coming in from a number of internal platforms and real-time aircraft downlinks. It then provides the consolidated data through a single view interface to relevant internal stakeholders. Hub Monitor is also mobile enabled, meaning staff deployed on the aircraft, ramp and in other remote areas can also easily access the information.

The application provides information on all Emirates’ aircraft in Dubai, allowing teams the ability to proactively recalibrate and plan their activities to minimise the impact of any unavoidable or unforeseen delays. Initial results since the application was deployed in August indicate that Hub Monitor has the potential to bring about a significant delay reduction at Emirates’ Dubai hub every year.

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SAFR Launches in Two Major Urban Centers in Pakistan


Safr opened its franchises in Lahore and Multan as the women-focused rideshare was receiving an overwhelming response from both cities. Within a couple of months of introducing the service in Pakistan, Safr has built a customer base of thousands of drivers and riders.

Safr, a rideshare focused on female empowerment, today announced that it is now offering its services in Pakistan. While remaining true to its mission of the safety and empowerment of women, the company is expanding its services in South Asia. Earlier, Safr opened its franchises in Lahore and Multan as the women- focused rideshare was receiving an overwhelming response from both cities. Within a couple of months of introducing the service in Pakistan, Safr has built a customer base of thousands of drivers and riders.

Safr is now providing daily on-demand and scheduled rides in Lahore and Multan in addition to its hometown Boston, MA. Safr CEO Pakistan, Ramla Hassan stated, “It’s truly amazing to see incredible Pakistani women ride and drive fearlessly with Safr during odd hours of the day.” She added, “Thousands of people are downloading our Android and iOS apps, and we are processing our driver applications as expeditiously as we can to meet the demand.”

“Safr is committed to empower women anywhere in the world and ridesharing focused on women safety is one of the ways in which we can truly achieve that goal – we are tackling a major problem in transportation specially in the developing world where number of cars per household is either limited or non-existent,” Safr Global CEO, Syed Gilani, added. “Pakistan is only a start, we plan on expanding in the region with the help of our local partners.”

The Safr app offers unique features like in-app calls, SOS button, color match and gender preference. The company’s rigorous driver screening and training allow it to provide a better rideshare experience and safer environment to both women and men.

Drivers and riders interested in joining Safr can visit and download the Safr apps through the App Store or Google Play.


About Safr

Safr is a new ridesharing service focused on the safety and empowerment of women. Built with the needs of women in mind, the company aims to improve the lives of women through safe transportation, job creation, and financial security. Drivers are personally vetted and undergo comprehensive background checks. They are paid more than the industry standard, and are incentivized to provide best-in-class service. By choosing to ride with Safr, you support a like-minded driver, elevate your community by helping improve greater gender balance and choice in the ridesharing economy.


Contact Information Syed Gilani

Safr (617) 952-3333

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