Amadeus has always been a place of ideas. Ever since the company’s inception back in 1987, we have striven to challenge ourselves; to evolve and come up with new technologies, applications and products & services that will help our customers to be better at what they do.
Recently I was digging around to find some interesting stories for a farewell party for Hans Jorgensen (our recently retired head of industry affairs and former head of airlines). I found the original press release talking about the birth of Amadeus where our aspiration was to become the number one GDS in Europe. How modest that looks now that we are the market leader in the world!
Of course I am extremely happy to see the position we have reached today, a position that could only be achieved because we genuinely embrace creativity, and of course, innovation.
Yet at the same time there is nothing worse than technology for technology’s sake – every innovation must be explicitly linked to a customer need or to a gap in the market or wider industry.
With this in mind, this week’s news that Amadeus has once again maintained its sector rankings as one of the leading companies in Europe for investment in Research & Development (R&D) by the European Commission (EC) becomes especially pertinent. The 2011 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard is an annual report published by the EC, and it looks at the largest 1,000 European companies investing in R&D during 2010 and ranks them according to the total amount invested.
Our investment of €326 million during 2010 was recognised by maintaining first place in Europe for total R&D investment in the computer services category. We also retained the number one spot in Europe for total R&D investment in the area of travel and tourism. Total investment since 2004 by Amadeus in R&D now stands at more than €1.6 billion, a significant figure and one that all of us at Amadeus are incredibly proud of.
Looking to the future, it’s clear that we cannot and must not rest on our laurels. We need to build on the significant track record we have earned over the past twenty plus years, and continue to be a pioneer in developing industry-leading products and services for our customers. Technology soon becomes out of date, obsolete even; and it’s imperative to future-proof everything we do and to plan for not just the next 3-5 years but, in fact, the next decade and beyond.