GE and Partners Announce Winning ‘Open Collaboration’ Innovations of Industrial Internet Flight Quest 2 and 3D Printing Production Quest

by GE

Winning Submissions Use Analytics and Advanced Manufacturing to Improve Efficiencies in Aviation and Healthcare Industries

  • Flight Quest 2 will help GE develop first-of-a-kind solution allowing airlines to determine the most efficient flight route in real time; could save the industry $3 billion each year
  • 3D Printing Production Quest identifies three fabricators with capabilities to produce complex medical imaging device parts with high precision; will drive greater product performance, quality and cost savings for healthcare customers.

Fairfield, Conn. — April 22, 2014 — GE (NYSE: GE) and partners today announced the winners of two global open innovation challenges, the Industrial Internet Flight Quest 2 and 3D Printing Production Quest.

Through open innovation leaders Kaggle and NineSigma, the Quests challenged data scientists, academia, start-ups and established businesses worldwide to use analytics and advanced manufacturing processes to find ways to increase efficiency for airlines and healthcare customers.

Steve Liguori, executive director of Global Innovation at GE said, “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.”

Flight Quest 2:
The second phase of GE’s Industrial Internet Flight Quest, in partnership with Kaggle and Alaska Airlines, challenged data scientists around the world to develop prescriptive algorithms to increase flight efficiencies in real time, reducing delays and maximizing a flight’s profitability. Using national airspace data provided by Flight Stats, the winning Flight Quest algorithms determine the most efficient flight routes, speeds and altitudes at any moment taking into account variables such as weather, wind and airspace restraints. The winning model proved to be up to 12 percent more efficient when compared to data sets from actual flights.

GE plans to develop rapid prototyping from these algorithms to deliver a first-of-a-kind solution that will give pilots and dispatchers a prescriptive, network-wide view of flight route variables, which does not exist today, and will allow airlines to recognize and adjust flight routes in real time. GE determined that if each scheduled flight worldwide reduced the distance it flew by only 10 miles, airlines could reduce annual fuel consumption by 360 million gallons and save the industry more than $3 billion each year.

Through Flight Quest, GE tapped Kaggle’s network of 130,000+ data scientists worldwide and received more than 6,800 combined submissions across 58 countries, with a total prize pool of $500,000 from GE. Industrial Internet Flight Quest phase two winners include:

  • 1st Prize: Jose A. R. Fonollosa, Spain
  • 2nd Prize: Sergey Kozub, Russia
  • 3rd Prize: Willem Mestrom, The Netherlands
  • 4th Prize: Dmytro Lystopad, Ukraine
  • Milestone Prize: Team id, Russia

For full information about the Flight Quest winners, visit:

“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.”

Winning algorithms from the first phase of Flight Quest, announced last year, proved to be 40 percent better than existing industry tools for predicting aircraft arrival time. GE used the algorithms to develop a prototype to predict the arrival time for every aircraft in the sky at every second.

“Congratulations to all of the winners of Flight Quest 2 for their outstanding efforts,” said Gary Beck, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of flight operations. “Incorporating prescriptive data analytics into airline operations would improve efficiency and benefit travelers with more reliable information about when they’ll arrive at their destination.”

3D Printing Production Quest:
GE’s 3D Printing Production Quest, in partnership with NineSigma, challenged participants to use additive manufacturing to produce complex parts with high precision using refractory metals, a capability that could transform how components are manufactured for x-ray-based medical imaging systems such as mammography, cardiac catheterization and computed tomography.

As the global medical imaging market is expected to reach $35.35 billion by 2019, GE envisions additive manufacturing enabling new component designs that greatly simplify manufacturing and reduce cost, while improving image quality and diagnostic capability.

Refractory metals have high density allowing them to very effectively block x-rays without the environmental and health hazards associated with lead, and also have very high melting temperatures, up to 6,000°F (3,400°C). They are used in x-ray systems to control the path of x-rays from the source through the patient’s body and some components such as x-ray source tubes that take advantage of the high melting temperature.

The winners were selected based on statistical analysis of their dimensional capability as well as several qualitative aspects of their entries.

Participants representing research teams from academia, start-ups and established businesses from six countries competed in the Quest in effort to explore new uses for 3D printing technologies in the healthcare sector. 3D Printing Production Quest winners include:

  • Martin Leuterer, EOS GmbH, Germany
  • Rob Snoeijs, LayerWise, Belgium
  • Bernhard Tabernig, PLANSEE SE Innovation Services, Austria

Denys Resnick, vice president of Strategic Programs at NineSigma said, “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.”

At GE, more than 200 high-tech manufacturing technologies are used in over 80 plants around the globe to drive greater product performance, quality and cost savings for healthcare customers.  Additive manufacturing is just beginning to find a place in medical imaging systems. The results of the 3D Printing Production Quest opens up new opportunities in x-ray systems that we can only begin to imagine.

For more information about GE Open Innovation, visit:

Contact Information
Sebastien Duchamp
GE Corporate, Director Communications

Jessica Oster
Manager, External Communications
203-814-7604 (mobile)

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