The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) announces its call for entries for the 2017 Innovation Awards Competition. The winners in each of the ten product categories will receive special recognition.
The winner of the Product of the Year Award will also be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, January 31 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Show will begin the preceding day, Monday, January 30 and run through Wednesday, February 1 at the same location.
Source: AHR Expo
Historically, the Innovation Awards highlight the HVACR industry’s efforts to provide advanced solutions to its ever changing needs. The awards call attention to the products, systems and technologies that have set elevated standards for the industry’s responsible and effective use of its resources.
As in years past, this annual competition aims to honor the most inventive, useful and original products, systems and technologies showcased on the exhibit floor in the categories of: building automation; cooling; green building; heating; indoor air quality; plumbing; refrigeration; software; tools & instruments; and ventilation.
All winning products will be recognized across several platforms. They will be featured along with detailed product descriptions on the AHR Expo website. Representatives from each winning company will also be asked to speak about their product and its contributions to the HVACR industry in short, professionally filmed videos. These videos will be shared online, used in AHR Expo social media and shown at the Innovation Awards ceremony (after which companies will be permitted to use the videos for their own promotional and marketing efforts).
Finally, at the award presentation ceremony, a single Product of the Year will be announced from the pool of winners, recognizing an exceptional level of leadership in HVACR innovation.
“These awards are a chance to publicly acknowledge the hard work companies contribute toward the future of the industry, said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company. “Selecting ten winners from a pool of hundreds of applications is never an easy feat. We look for entries that display exceptional utility, ingenuity and efficiency, and we are always amazed by the number of incredible options we receive.”
The well-rounded list of past Innovation Awards includes a myriad of impressive and innovative winners. These products provide practical solutions to industry-wide challenges. For example, the 2016 winner of the Product of the Year award was a duct sealing technology that provided a viable and relatively simple solution to sealing otherwise hard-to-access ventilation leaks. Other 2016 winners include a self-contained heat pump that extracts thermal energy from wastewater for domestic hot water production, a web-based software package that calculates and compares indoor air containment levels to facilitate reduction of outside air intake, and a grooved piping system for both commercial and industrial saturated steam applications.
“We were excited and proud to have received the Product of the Year award, and considered it a big step forward for our industry,” said Neal Walsh of Aeroseal, the 2016 Product of the Year winner. “We’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of positive response we have had and are now more motivated than ever to create innovative solutions to other ventilation problems. After years of attending AHR Expo, we’ve become great believers in the show and its value as a connecting point and as a platform to raise awareness.”
The winning products are ones that provide comprehensive solutions to the HVACR industry’s needs, and represent the scope of the vast, ever-changing industry. Additionally, winning products often come from smaller or newer companies, allowing them increased exposure and prominence in a show filled with the HVACR industry’s biggest names. The Innovation Awards are a platform to recognize a diverse group of businesses, from small startups to long-established companies. Big or small, old or new, any exhibitor with an inventive, useful and creative product is encouraged to submit it.
All 2017 AHR Expo exhibitors are eligible to submit a product for the Innovation Awards. Exhibitors may submit one product in each category, as long as that product has not previously won an award. To be considered, products must be exhibited at the Show and available for sale by the end of January 2017. Completed entry forms and a $100 entry fee must be submitted online at ahrexpo.com by Wednesday, August 3, 2016.
Each year, the sum of entry fees is donated to an organization local to the Show in need of HVACR repairs or upgrades. In 2016, the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, Fla. benefitted from the Innovation Awards. The organization, which pairs local youths with law enforcement offices to build relationships, character and sportsmanship through sports, received $19,600 for the much needed replacement of air handling units in their largest facility. This year’s recipient has yet to be determined, but all entry fees will be given to a Las Vegas-area organization in need.
Judging is based on the following criteria: innovative design, creativity, application, value and market impact. All submissions will be evaluated by a panel of third-party ASHRAE member judges from all facets of the industry, including but not limited to education/instruction, research, engineering management, design engineering, product development and manufacturing. These judges, all of whom are seasoned HVACR or plumbing professionals with more than 20 years of professional experience, have long-term service records on ASHRAE technical committees and research projects and many have multiple degrees, certifications and credentials.