Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Innovation Flourishes with Sikorsky Entrepreneurial Challenge

Creativity and innovation are key drivers of an economy. Even our state government is helping to promote innovation through the creation of entities such as the Stamford Innovation Center.

Here in Connecticut, we are also lucky to have companies that help drive innovation.

One of these companies is Sikorsky Aircraft, a United Technologies company, and its Sikorsky Innovations organization.

Sikorsky Innovations has recently announced the Sikorsky Entrepreneurial Challenge. Visit http://bit.ly/OLxudw for information.

The challenges that Sikorsky is posing are:
  1. How can your business concept enable safe, high-speed manned and unmanned vehicle operations in complex, obstacle-rich environments?
  2. How can your business concept utilize vertical flight to better serve or create new markets?
  3. How can your business concept introduce new approaches to preserve, stabilize or heal damaged systems and structures?
  4. How can your business concept reduce the cost and time of the design-build-test-qualify process for new complex vehicles?
  5. How can your business concept realize cost savings and lead-time reductions by using 3-D printing and additive manufacturing to produce or maintain components in vehicles?
The winners will receive:
  • One year free utilization of a predetermined space, anticipated to be able to seat two to four people, within the new Stamford Innovation Center.
  • One year of free access to new Stamford Innovation Center — also know as Stamford iCenter — shared business services, mentoring programs and education program and events.
  • Participation in a rolling, three-month-long Sikorsky education program, designed to provide both technical and business strategy guidance.
These sorts of innovation challenges are good for everyone. To begin with, they provide focused energy for creative minds that have or can create solutions to pressing problems. They also help people with skills and talents to gain visibility — whether they win or not. Finally, the winners have an opportunity to bring an idea to life that may have otherwise gone unfulfilled.

As we continue to innovate our way into the 21st century, I hope other companies and individuals will support and participate in these innovation/entrepreneurial challenges. It is amazing what problems human minds can solve when applied.

Mark Mathias, a 30-plus year veteran of information technology and a resident of Westport, Connecticut, was named by Computerworld magazine to their inaugural list of “Premier 100 IT Leaders.” This column was originally published in the Westport News on Wednesday 4 September 2012.

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