Medellín innovation center Ruta N to partner with airline Viva Air

By Conrad Egusa August 23, 2019

Ruta N, the innovation center supported by the city of Medellin, has entered into a partnership with airline Viva Air to improve the capabilities of the country’s aeronautical, tourism and transportation industries. 

The agreement, which will be implemented by Viva Air Labs, looks to address industry-wide challenges and includes training and collaborations on upcoming projects.

The third-largest carrier in the country, Viva Air is the first airline to sign an innovation agreement with Ruta N. According to the airline’s CEO Félix Antelo, the partnership will benefit both travelers and the greater industry.

Clyde Hutchinson, Head of Innovation at Viva Air Labs, and Felix Antelo, CEO at Viva Air

Said Clyde Hutchinson, Head of Innovation at Viva Air Labs, in an earlier interview, “One of our main goals is to figure out how to use the platform of being a low cost carrier to be part of the innovation process going on in the countries where we have flights. We want to harness innovation in Latin America by creating a space for Latin Americans to solve problems within Latin America.”

In 2013 Medellin was voted the world’s most innovative city by the non-profit Urban Land Institute, and was praised for its modern transportation system and environmental and cultural policies. More recently the World Economic Forum named the city its center in Latin America for its Fourth Industrial Revolution, announcing Agostinho João Almeida as its Director.

Andrew Ng, founder of Google’s Brain project and former CEO of Coursera, recently opened offices in Medellin, in addition to Amyn Gillani, CEO of Talos Digital, earlier expanding locations in the city.

Other startups involved in Medellin include music rights marketplace Vezt, which held its opening event this month.

Vetz’s Luis Sierra at the startup’s opening event in Medellin