BOULDER — Vita Inclinata, a Broomfield company whose Vita Rescue System uses counterthrust to stabilize helicopter rescue baskets during windy conditions, took home Innovation of the Year on Thursday night at the IQ Awards hosted by BizWest.
The IQ Awards recognize the “Innovation Quotient” of companies in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado. In addition to the Innovation of the Year, seven companies were recognized for innovating within their industry.
Vita Inclinata president and CEO Caleb Carr said that he got the idea for the Vita Rescue System when he was a search and rescue volunteer in Oregon. On a training mission, a fellow volunteer suffered cardiac arrest. A rescue helicopter came and attempted to make a basket rescue, but heavy winds made that unsafe. The helicopter was forced to turn back, and Carr’s friend died.
That experience inspired Carr to start Vita Inclinata and create technology that “brings people home every time,” he said. It automatically stabilizes helicopter rescue hoist spin and swing while accounting for rotor wash, wind and other environmental conditions. The Vita Rescue System is being used by the U.S. Army and by search and rescue teams around the world.
Vita Inclinata has also developed a load stabilization system for construction cranes, the Load Navigator, which can stabilize crane loads up to 88,000 pounds. Carr said that technology is currently in use in Dubai. In New York, he added, state regulators are working to mandate the Load Navigator on every crane in the state.
Vita Inclinata has raised $27 million since 2018, Carr said. The company, which has more than 100 core patents, is in the process of raising another $150 million in a Series B that will enable it to scale quickly, Carr said.
The industry winners at the IQ Awards were:
- Aerospace: Vita Inclinata, Broomfield — Helicopter rescue basket and construction crane stabilization systems.
- Business products and services: Airius, Longmont — Destratification fans that can reduce the pathogens, bacteria and mold in a space.
- Cannabis and agriculture: Lifetonic, Boulder — Fast acting cannabis edible, drinkable and tincture products.
- Energy and utilities: Maplewell Energy, Lafayette — Hardware and software that enables demand-side energy management.
- Health care: Quorum Prosthetics, Windsor — Custom made, 3-D printed prosthetic sockets that are easier for the wearer to put on and remove.
- LIfe sciences: Laporte Immunotherapeutics, Fort Collins — Nanoparticles that stimulate immune defenses in the eyes, skin and upper airways.
- Natural products: Future Fit Foods, Longmont — Nutritious convenience foods in low-environmental-impact packaging.
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