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Founder’s Innovation Prize Long-Range Goal: From Ideas to Practical Solutions

April 6, 2017 - When the Founder’s Innovation Prize, presented by AIRBUS, was introduced prior to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016, more than 140 innovators brought their ideas forward as they sought to reduce loss-of-control accidents in general aviation. As entries arrive for the 2017 edition of the competition, a long-range plan is now in place to move these ideas to real-life solutions.

EAA officials announced this week that the Founder’s Innovation Prize competition will continue through 2020, with five years’ worth of finalists eligible for a major grand prize. Each year’s competition welcomes ideas to counter loss of control accidents in amateur-built aircraft. The top five entries each year are invited to showcase the innovation at a “Shark Tank”-style public presentation at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

“We are building on the originality, practicality, and imagination shown in the competition’s first year in 2016, but we see an even greater possibility as these marvelous safety innovations come our way each year,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “We want to move the ideas from concept to reality, where they can be part of the cockpit of recreational aviators very soon.”

The Founder’s Innovation Prize grand prize will be held in 2020 and will be open to any previous finalist or honorable mention entry. To be considered for the grand prize, previous entrants are expected to have improved upon their original concept and made an impact in GA safety regarding loss of control accidents. The prize fund for the 2020 grand prize will also be increased.

Entries are welcomed for the 2017 Founder’s Innovation Prize competition until June 15, 2017. More information is available at EAA.org/prize.

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