Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development unit of US-based helicopter design company Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., has named Pankl Aerospace Innovations as the winner of its first Entrepreneurial Challenge Competition. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of New York Stock Exchange-listed United Technologies Corp. Laurence Vigeant-Langlois, Director of Business Development and Technology Partnerships for Innovations, said: “The calibre of applicants for the first Sikorsky Innovations Entrepreneurial Challenge exceeded our expectations. We felt there is a value in maturing more than one of the innovative business concepts, so we decided to grant awards to two additional finalists. Sikorsky Innovations looks forward to supporting the maturation of three distinct and deserving teams’ initiatives.” Vigeant-Langlois added: “Good ideas must be cultivated and allowed to grow. We are thrilled to work with these innovators who are beginning their entrepreneurial journeys.” Smart Rotor Systemsof Ottawa, was also  awarded participation in the three-month education program, and Drew Lambert, an individual inventor, was awarded interaction with Sikorsky mentors. Smart Rotor Systems is maturing new pitch-link control technology, while Lambert is pursuing a mobile network weather information concept. Chris Van Buiten, Vice President of Innovations, said: “As Sikorsky Aircraft continues to extend its global reach, our Sikorsky Innovations group is proud of nurturing the seeds of technological creativity. This first Entrepreneurial Challenge demonstrates the power of invention, and provides a complement to the technology portfolio that Sikorsky Innovations is actively maturing. With the next Challenge due to launch at the end of this month, we invite other inventive thinkers to help us push the boundaries of disruptive technology, and like-minded investors to join us in maturing these companies.” The Entrepreneurial Challenge was launched on Feb. 2, 2012 as part of Sikorsky Innovations’ partnership with the Stamford Innovation Center. The Challenge is open to any small company with revenue under $5M, including newly formed and pre-revenue entities. The start of the next Entrepreneurial Challenge Competition will be announced in July during Sikorsky’s participation in both the EAA AirVenture tradeshow in Oshkosh, Wis., and the SBIR & Global Trade Summit in Uncasville, Conn.

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