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April 24, 2014

GE Awards Industrial Internet, 3D Printing Challenge Prizes

By David Delony, Contributing Writer

General Electric and its partners have announced the winner of two innovation challenges: Industrial Internet Flight Quest 2 and 3D Printing Production Quest.

“Harnessing the power of the crowd is essential to disrupting current processes and accelerating the pace of innovation. GE's Quest program taps into the world's greatest minds to create products that bring new values to our customers and speeds the time from mind to market,” Steve Liguori, executive director of Global Innovation at GE said.

GE, along with partners Kaggle and Alaska Airlines, developed the second phase of the Industrial Internet Flight Quest to challenge data scientists to come up with algorithms to maximize the efficiencies of airline flights in real time, choosing the best altitudes, speeds and routes. The winning algorithm by Jose A. R. Fonollosa of Spain proved to be 12 percent more efficient than data culled from actual flights. The five recipients of the awards had a prize pool of $500,000.

The challenge shows that fleet tracking works just as well in the air as it does for vehicles on the ground, showing that operators can extrapolate from the data on the vehicles they’re tracking to make them perform even better for less money.

"We are greatly impressed by the tenacity and creativity of participants in the Industrial Internet Quests," added Anthony Goldbloom, chief executive officer at Kaggle. "The Quests show the power of crowdsourcing in driving innovation in the aviation industry."

GE also had another challenge, the 3D Printing Production Quest. The challenge was to create complex parts made out of refractory medals by additive manufacturing that could be used in medical imaging applications, including mammography, cardiac catheterization and computed tomography. These medals have high melting points and density and can be used to control the direction of X-ray beams while they are still less hazardous than lead.

Martin Leuterer of EOS GmbH in Germany, Rob Snoeijs of LayerWise Marketing, in Belgium and Bernhard Tabernig, PLANSEE SE Innovation Services in Austria were the winners of the challenge.

“Through open innovation, we are able to uncover fresh perspectives from experts in new areas, accelerate the pace of innovation and transform industries, faster. This is the beauty of harnessing the power of a global network of connected innovators from across industries."

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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