The Concept, a UAE-based product development and design company that develops sustainable solutions for clients using a combination of hardware and technology innovation, and part of Hub71’s community, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, to research and develop sustainable inflight technology to monitor food consumption.
This is in line with the airline’s sustainability efforts and the drive for food waste reduction onboard its flights.
As part of the partnership, Etihad will be providing industry expertise and access to its catering facilities and flights to support The Concept with the development of the NEOS Fly+, an inflight smart tray.
The NEOS Fly+ claims to be the world’s first IoT based inflight technology for trays. With the aim of providing data to reduce an industry wide food waste problem estimated to be around USD 3.9 billion per year, the technology will be developed to act as a data collection hub for airlines. The data will show passengers’ food consumption behaviour which will help the airline to understand food preferences and how it may be possible to reduce food waste.
The NEOS Fly+ tray is made from sustainable materials including PET bottles previously used on board and then recycled.
NEOS Fly+ will allow Etihad to track consumption of food items served onboard its flights with detailed information around components and portions of the meal that are not consumed. The anonymised data collated will be used to highlight food consumption and wastage patterns across the network, and will help to reduce food waste, improve meal planning and reduce operating costs.
The collaboration between The Concept and Etihad Airways follows the announcement of Etihad as the official airline partner of Hub71.
Frank Meyer, chief digital officer, Etihad Airways Group, said: “This research and development partnership reinforces Etihad’s commitment to sustainability and our reputation for innovation. We look forward to working with The Concept on the development of the NEOS Fly+ which could support our efforts to reduce food wastage. We are proud to partner with a homegrown, locally based start-up, to push the sustainability agenda forward.”