In 2016, EAA's Founder's Innovation Prize competition set out to reduce the rate of in-flight loss of control accidents in experimental amateur-built aircraft by challenging EAA members to come up with a solution. Submissions from the first four years of the competition ranged from technology to training and were evaluated based on effectiveness, ease of installation, and cost.
Five finalists were chosen each year to present their solutions in front of a panel of expert judges. The judges awarded first-, second-, and third-place winners with prizes of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 respectively.
The Founder’s Innovation Prize competition is rounding off its five year cycle in 2021 with the (postponed) Grand Championship event.
EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize Grand Championship
The Grand Championship was postponed until 2021 due to the cancellation of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2020.
Finalists and honorable mention contestants in the Founder's Innovation Prize competitions at AirVenture 2016, 2017, 2018, or 2019 will be eligible to be compete in the rescheduled 2020 Founder's Innovation Prize Grand Championship. Each team contestant must include at least one original member of the team that competed in 2016, 2017, 2018, or 2019.
The Grand Championship aims to further the progress that has been made by finalists and honorable mentions in the competition in previous years. The goal is to encourage the strongest entries from the first four years to continue to develop their existing ideas into real world loss-of-control solutions.
Make sure to tune in to An Evening with Innovators on Tuesday, July 27th at 7:00 PM at Theater in the Woods to watch the final five compete for the $50,000 grand prize.
Please note: new submissions from non-finalist/honorable mention contestants are not being accepted at this time.
Loss of Control Root Cause Model
A root cause model was developed by a team of aviation and industry experts to articulate the full extent of the loss of control challenge, and therefore to present all of the areas for innovation to solve this problem. You can read more and view the full model below.
BuzzBall Project Wins 2019 Founder's Innovation Prize
ETHAN BRODSKY'S invention, designed to help maintain coordinated flight, was deemed winner of the 2019 Founder's Innovation Prize. After receiving fourth place in the 2017 competition, Brodsky worked to improve and further develop his innovation. With the win, his project gets a monetary boost of $25,000. The cash prize is to help him further develop and test the concept and, ideally, make it commercially viable.
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