Five startups developing solutions for a more sustainable future in aviation

Meet five startups from the Aerospace Xelerated portfolio focused on delivering scalable and sustainable solutions for the aviation industry- and beyond.

Gabriella Gisele Hernandez
Aerospace Xelerated
5 min readDec 7, 2023


The aviation industry is crucial in facilitating the rapid and efficient transportation of people and goods, supporting better connectivity, trade, and economic growth worldwide. However, there is increasing demand to reduce the negative environmental impact of the aviation industry.

On December 6th, 2023, representatives from the aviation industry convened at The Global Sustainable Aviation Forum at COP28 to explore how the sector can meet goals of phasing out the use of fossil fuels and achieving net zero by 2050, beginning with a 5% emissions reduction by 2030. Achieving these goals will require diverse industry stakeholders and civil society to work together to develop and adopt new behaviours, technologies, and strategies.

At Aerospace Xelerated, we invest in, mentor and support startups and SMEs developing scalable and sustainable solutions for the aviation industry. From sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) to digital flight optimisation tools, this blog will highlight five startups developing innovative solutions that contribute to a sustainable future in aviation and beyond. Keep reading to learn more!

NABLA Mobility: ML/AI-powered flight optimisation and decarbonisation

Within aviation, pilots and flight operation crews need to make quick, complex decisions that balance the need for efficiency, safety, and resilience. Japanese startup NABLA Mobility uses data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence to help companies achieve flight optimisation and decarbonisation without sacrificing safety and performance.

By utilising NABLA Mobility´s DBJ award-winning technology, commercial and cargo airline pilots, dispatchers, and operations can access data and recommendations to support turbulence prediction, flight plan optimisation, fuel efficiency, and decarbonisation.

Phycobloom: Developing Algae-grown Sustainable Aviation Fuels

Can you imagine a fuel made by extracting pollution from the air instead of oil in the ground? UK-based startup Phycobloom is focused on making that vision a reality. The team at Phycobloom is utilising synthetic biology to create novel strains of algae that will use atmospheric CO2 to produce cheap, carbon-neutral biofuels. These fuels can be utilised in high-impact aviation and maritime transport industries.

Backed by Aerospace Xelerated, Breakthrough Energy, Zero Carbon Capital, and Entrepreneur First, Phycobloom hopes to scale its technology, reduce costs and increase the productivity of algae oil by 70% in comparison to current processes, providing a new sustainable biofuel source.

Signol: Reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with behaviour science

Achieving net zero goals will require a significant shift in our tools and behaviours. To drive behavioural change at an industry level, London-based startup Signol has developed a user-friendly software platform that provides captains and crew with personalised insights to encourage decision-making that reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Signol has successfully worked with aviation organisations, including Virgin Atlantic and BALPA, and has recently expanded into maritime shipping, partnering with Stolt Tankers and Bernhardt Schult Shipmanagement. By the end of 2022, Signol´s system helped aviation and shipping customers save $16 million in fuel costs and 60,000 mt of CO2 emissions.

HiiROC: Thermal plasma electrolysis for low-cost, zero-emission hydrogen & synthetic fuels

Hydrogen offers a promising source of sustainable aviation. However, the current production process is costly and produces high emissions.
UK-based startup HiiROC has created a new Thermal Plasma Electrolysis process that addresses these concerns and provides low-cost, zero CO2 emission Hydrogen production.

HiiROC is working with Centrica to inject hydrogen into its existing gas-peaking plant at Brigg, Lincolnshire, as part of a 12-month trial that aims to demonstrate HiiROC’s technology — producing hydrogen fuel from grid-supplied natural gas to decarbonise the peaking gas-fired power plant partially. HiiROC’s process also produces Carbon Black, a zero-emission by-product that can be utilised in multiple commercial applications, including tyres, rubbers, plastics, inks and toners.

Circulor: The world´s leading supply chain traceability platform

In the face of the climate crisis, the substantial impact of industrial supply chains on the environment cannot be overlooked. Our portfolio company, Circulor, offers a comprehensive and advanced solution to this urgent global issue, helping Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have complete visibility of their supply chains.

By using Circulor´s software solution, organisations can follow the flow of critical materials from extraction to final production and track materials with high environmental and human rights impacts as they change state within manufacturing and recycling supply chains. Their award-winning cleantech solution has helped organisations showcase responsible sourcing, enhance Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance, minimise Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and effectively manage supply chain risks.


Achieving the net zero goals, decarbonising the aviation industry and reducing its ecological footprint will take work; however, we remain optimistic.

By working together to identify and develop innovative solutions to the challenges we face, we can secure a more sustainable future in aviation.

About Aerospace Xelerated

Aerospace Xelerated is a Boeing-led aerospace innovation programme delivered in partnership with diverse industry stakeholders, including the GKN Aerospace, Tawazun Council, Etihad Airways, Rolls-Royce and the UK’s Defense and Security Accelerator. Aerospace Xelerated provides investment, mentorship, and support for startups and SMEs developing scalable and sustainable tech solutions for the aerospace industry and beyond.

For the last four years, Aerospace Xelerated has provided mentorship, investment, and support for 40 startups from 14 countries around the globe. To date, AX-supported companies have raised over £200M in additional funding — beyond Boeing’s initial £100,000 equity investment into each and created 750+ new, high-skilled jobs internationally.

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