A virtually connected team of Indian aerospace engineers — based in India, USA, UK and The Netherlands — have emerged champions in a global biennial innovation challenge organized by UNESCO and the passenger aircraft manufacturing company Airbus.

Team Multifun from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, has been crowned champions of the fourth edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas global student competition, organised in partnership with UNESCO to encourage the next generation of innovators and uncover future solutions for the future of flight.

As well as receiving the coveted trophy, the winning team of students Sathiskumar Anusuya Ponnusami (team leader), Shashank Agrawal, Dhamotharan Veerasamy, Mohit Gupta and Ajith Moses received the top prize of 30,000 euro at the Award Ceremony held in Hamburg (Germany). The final round of the competition was held earlier this week in Hamburg where the five shortlisted teams presented their innovative concepts to a prestigious jury of Airbus and industry experts led by Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering.

The five dynamic members of the all Indian team have been able to work 24 hours a day by interacting across physical boundaries from four different locations around the world, as they are based in India (Indian Institute of Science Bangalore), the UK (City University London), the USA (Georgia Tech) and the Netherlands (Delft University of Technology). Keeping very efficient interactions between them, the Multifun team members met physically for the very first time at the final round of the event this week, where they managed to present the most disruptive idea for the future of aviation.

The Indian team’s entry was shortlisted in the top five from among 518 teams representing 104 countries.  FYI is designed to identify and encourage the next generation of innovators and uncover futuristic and unconventional yet promising solutions for the evolution of flight.

Indeed a brilliant example of virtual networking for science and innovation.