Celebrating Innovation on National Inventors’ Day

Posted on February 11, 2016

Did you know? Today is National Inventors’ Day, established in 1983 by the United States Congress. Throughout our history, we’ve seen numerous inventors who have developed products and technologies that have influenced the world we live in today.

Elisha Otis

Elisha Otis, inventor of the elevator safety brake.

Much like this pioneering spirit, innovation and invention is a large part of United Technologies’ history. Our founders transformed industries and the world. Elisha Otis changed the way we move people with his invention of the elevator safety brake in 1852, allowing buildings to be built ever higher. Willis Carrier invented modern air conditioning in 1902, keeping us cool and productive while also enabling countless industries to avoid waste and preserve resources. Frederick Rentschler founded Pratt & Whitney in 1925, and the company’s first aircraft engine, the 410-horsepower, air­cooled Wasp, transformed the aviation industry. We’re proud of this legacy of innovation, and the fact that our very own United Technologies Research Center has helped drive these achievements.

Willis Carrier

Willis Carrier, inventor of modern air conditioning.

Founded in 1929, the Research Center works to make things better for industries, people and the planet. UTRC’s innovative technologies are advancing sustainability at UTC – through its work on energy efficient buildings and its award-winning flow battery technology. The Research Center features some of the world’s best scientific and engineering talent with a staff of approximately 600 worldwide, who explore new ways to meet the challenges that come from increasing levels of urbanization and globalization – including greater efficiency and performance in modern technologies.

Innovation is important – but so is ensuring that our innovative technologies are safe, sustainable solutions the world needs. This is one of our primary focuses at UTC.

For more than three decades, we’ve taken a comprehensive approach to incorporate sustainability into our products, operations and culture. We’ve set aggressive five-year sustainability goals related to water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and overall waste reductions.

Frederick Rentschler

Frederick Rentschler, founder of Pratt & Whitney.

What we’ve found is that sustainability works. For example, since 1997, United Technologies has tripled its revenues while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent. Sustainability is good for people, the planet and for business – and must be a part of new innovations that are developed for our increasingly urbanizing world. We have no doubt we’ll be able to meet that challenge.

So, on National Inventors’ Day, let’s reflect about how far we’ve come – from the humble beginnings of technologies over a century ago all the way to our new PurePower® engines. All of these inventions have helped shape the world in a significant way. The future is no less bright, as we tackle the opportunities ahead of us to help the world urbanize in a sustainable manner.

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