Apr 30, 2011

FIRST ® Announces PTC As Strategic Partner

PLM and CAD solution provider puts its technology and support solidly behind FIRST to equip the next-generation of engineers, innovators, and scientists.

ST. LOUIS & MANCHESTER, N.H - FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, today announced PTC, The Product Development Company®, of Needham, Mass., as a Strategic Partner.

“PTC’s support for the FIRST family of programs has been instrumental in the worldwide growth of the FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®),” said Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST. “PTC has long recognized that our student engineers and innovators need a variety of tools at their disposal, including technology that can optimize the product development process. Their generosity – as a Partner, Supplier, Sponsor and employee Volunteers – is valued by the entire FIRST community.”

With millions of dollars already committed to FIRST, Strategic Partner status designates PTC as providing the highest level of Sponsorship available at FIRST through its cumulative support of teams, annual in-kind donations, resources, technology, design and collaboration software, training as well as employee involvement – and contributes across the FIRST family of programs. Beginning as a FIRST® Robotics Challenge (FRC®) Crown Supplier, PTC then became the Official CAD and Collaboration Sponsor for FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) in 2007 with the donation of its Creo™ Elements/Pro™, Mathcad®, and Windchill® to FTC teams. PTC then expanded its support to include funding the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) and FTC teams, becoming a Crown Supplier in 2009, and last year sponsoring a successful pilot of FTC to India, Romania and China this year. PTC plans include the growth of FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) teams in 2012.

“FIRST is PTC’s flagship Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education program because we believe it is one of the best ways to educate and prepare students to be engineers,” said Jim Heppelmann, President and CEO, PTC and member of the FIRST Executive Advisory Board. “PTC is pleased to be a Strategic Partner with the FIRST organization, and I look forward to working with FIRST as we grow the program to include stronger global participation across companies, students and volunteers.”

Over the past four years, PTC has leveraged its global footprint by co-sponsoring nearly 180 FRC and FTC teams with its customers and partners to extend the FIRST program into as many schools as possible. In preparation for this year’s FRC and FTC seasons, PTC completed more than 40 hands-on workshops for students, teachers, Volunteers, and Mentors to learn 3D design and collaboration technology. More than 800 teams have signed up for free PTC software, including Creo™, Mathcad®, and Windchill®. In 2011, PTC spearheaded a rollout to pilot the FTC program in China and Eastern Europe. Students and teachers may download PTC software to assist in designing robots at www.ptc.com/go/softwareforfirst.