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Pipistrel Crowned Most Innovative Company in Europe

Paris, 16 November (STA) - Light sports aircraft maker Pipistrel has been selected by the European Business Awards (EBA) jury as the most innovative company in Europe. The award for innovation is one of ten EBA awards handed out for this year at a ceremony held in Paris on Tuesday.

Pipistrel was selected the winner among 10 companies short-listed in the innovation category following a recent hearing in London.

A total of 15,000 companies had registered in the ten categories, with ten subseuqently short-listed for special mentions in each category. The winners were selected following a detailed presentation.

In its description of Pipistrel, the EBA stressed that the company managed to increase output by 50% and its workforce by 10% in 2009.

It also highlighted the recent launch of the Taurus-Electro, an electric-powered 2-seater aircraft, the world's first.

Pipistrel said it had registered for the competition after being acquainted with it by the EBA.

Apart from innovation, the Ajdovscina-based company also ran in the environmental awareness category, but was advised by the jury at its presentation to focus on the innovation award.

Pipistrel general manager and co-owner Ivo Boscarol labelled the award as the most important of his career.

He highlighted that Pipistrel was selected by a 51-member jury of independent experts. "I'm happy that we are the first Slovenian company to receive this award and have thereby helped promote Slovenia globally," Boscarol said.

Pipistrel has long been considered one of the most innovative makers of light aircraft in the world.

Its Virus SW won the NASA centennial PAV challenge in 2007 and the NASA GAT centennial challenge in 2008.

The company had sales of EUR 7.5m last year, making a net profit of nearly EUR 1m.

This is the fourth year that the European Business Awards have been handed out. The programme was set up by Adrian Tripp, a British entrepreneur who had previously founded the UK National Business Awards.

The awards aim to recognise and reward exemplary business practices and promote networking and an exchange of ideas among businesses in the EU.

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