Sikorsky offers $25K for homespun technical advance

By Bill Fallon

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Stratford-based Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development arm of parent company Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., also based in Stratford, is looking to tap America’s tinkerers and startups for the sixth straight year by awarding a $25,000 cash prize to the winner of its Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The company said the competition is designed to spur “innovators and disruptive technology concepts with applications in the vertical flight market.” A previous winner – San Francisco-based Rescale – worked with cloud-based simulation technology and its ideas on project collaboration are being vetted by Sikorsky engineers for possible use.

“Sikorsky continues to seek the best ideas within the global technology community,” said Jonathan Hartman, head of the Entrepreneurial Challenge. “If you are a startup with concepts in the areas of energy storage, sensors, virtual reality or 3-D printing, you should strongly consider learning about the sixth Sikorsky Entrepreneurial Challenge.”

Sikorsky said in a statement the competition features four of “the hottest global technology topics” and, expanding on Hartman’s comment, said that those include wireless sensing, augmented reality, aerospace-quality additive manufacturing and next-generation energy storage.

“Sikorsky is serious about finding aligned, disruptive technologies,” said Simon Gharibian, senior manager, Sikorsky Innovations.  “As a global leader in rotorcraft, Sikorsky is looking for determined enterprises that are ready to test their concept and win the opportunity to work closely with us. We have been impressed by the level of creativity among past winners and expect to see high-caliber companies vying once again as part of the competition.”

The entry deadline is Oct. 16. For details, visit sikorsky.com. Parent company United Technologies Corp. in Hartford reached a deal for $9 billion in July to sell Sikorsky to Maryland-based Lockheed Martin. The deal is expected to be complete by early next year.

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About the author

Bill Fallon
Bill Fallon is editor of the Fairfield County Business Journal. He has worked at Westfair Communications for more than five years, previously editing an upstate New York daily and a national motorcycle magazine in Nevada. He attended Iona Prep in New Rochelle, N.Y., and the University of Virginia.

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